Mortgage approvals reached six-year high in January

The number of mortgage approvals granted to home buyers reached a new six-year high in January, Bank of England figures showed.

Sale signs displayed outside houses in Finsbury Park, North London. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A total of 76,947 approvals with a value of £12.4 billion got the go-ahead last month, marking the highest number since November 2007.

However, loans, including overdrafts, to non-financial businesses fell by £600 million in the first month of the year and that decrease follows a fall of £1.7 billion in December.

Lending to small and medium-sized enterprises fell by £300 million compared to the average monthly decrease of £500 million over the previous six months.