LONDON–Mortgage lending in the U.K. continued its upward climb in July, official figures showed Tuesday, confirming the British housing market has regained strength despite tighter regulations.
Lending secured on dwellings increased 2.7 billion pounds ($4.2 billion), the Bank of England said, the highest since July 2008. This was the third consecutive rise in mortgage credit, which had slowed earlier in the year.
The number of new home loans signed during the month also nudged up, with U.K. banks approving 68,764 mortgages for property purchases in July, up from a revised 67,069 in June.
Stronger mortgage lending is a fresh sign the British property market has recovered its momentum and is ready to rise at a faster rate during the second half of the year. House prices started cooling as 2014 came to a close, when regulators introduced more stringent requirements on mortgage approvals, but most analysts were confident banks would quickly adapt to the new norms.
The Bank of England expressed strong concerns last year that the U.K. buoyant property market could be a threat to financial stability if prices continued to soar at dazzling speeds.
On the other hand, lending to consumers rose in July at the same pace as during the previous month and increased by GBP1.2 billion, due a rise in the amount of credit card lending.