Relentless mortgage growth is headache for Bank


Relentless mortgage growth is headache for Bank
The number and value of mortgages taken out in Britain rose to a three-year high during October, official data reveals, with rises in interest rates seemingly failing to cool the country's housing market.

Today's statistical release from the Bank of England (BoE) shows that the combined value of mortgages went up by £9.8 billion last month, the highest recorded since September 2003.

In addition, 128,000 home loans were taken out during October, which is itself also a three-year high.

Although these figures preceded this month's quarter of a percentage point rise in interest rates, the chance of further increases in December or the new year look more likely.

However, Howard Archer of analyst firm Global Insight suggested that the data may indicate "people were seeking to tie up mortgage deals before interest rates moved higher still".

"While the BoE has recently played down the role of house prices in its setting of interest rates, it will nevertheless be concerned about the market's current buoyancy," the chief UK and European economist added.

Today's official figures also revealed that the annual growth rate of consumer credit again fell in October, with overall credit card lending rising by £0.2 billion, compared to September's rise of £0.4 billion.

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