More on mortgage data

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More on that mortgage data.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at the EY Item Club of forecasters, has been looking at the rise in mortgage approvals to 42,989 in April from 40,564 in March.

That's the most since February 2017, he said.

"This marked a clear upside breakout of the 38,000-40,000 range that had previously largely held since the beginning of 2018," he said.

"April’s marked rise in mortgage approvals suggests that housing market activity may well have got at least some temporary support from the avoidance of a disruptive Brexit at the end of March. It may very well also be that the housing market has benefited from recent improved consumer purchasing power and robust employment growth," he added.

But, he expects any boost to be limited and estimates that house prices will rise "only" 1% over the year.

Tesco's withdrawal is bad news for borrowers

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Tesco’s withdrawal from the mortgage market this morning comes as something of a shock," reckons David Hollingworth of L&C Mortgages.

He says it shows how competitive the market is at the moment.

"It seems that the pressure on margins reached the point of forcing a major rethink in strategy on what for many would be seen as a core product.

"Although we’ve seen some smaller specialist lenders struggle to achieve the margin they wanted (the withdrawal of Secure Trust Bank for example) this is a bigger, mainstream mortgage brand that has been very competitive on occasion.

It would be bad news for the market and for consumers if this was to be a sign of things to come, as a reduction in lender numbers does not help drive wider choice for borrowers."

Tesco Bank scraps mortgage lending

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Tesco Bank has stopped mortgage lending and is looking to find a buyer for it's mortgage book, which total £3.7bn with 23,000 customers.

Gerry Mallon, chief executive Tesco Bank said: "We have made the strategic decision to focus on serving a broader range of customers in more specific areas, which means moving away from our mortgage offer.

"We have therefore chosen to cease lending to new customers and announce our intention to explore a sale of our portfolio."

It only entered the mortgage market in 2012.