The Bank of England's figures for April reveal that overall lending to individuals was weaker than in March, although net lending on dwellings was stronger...
The total increase in net lending for April was £8.6 billion, less than March's £8.8 billion, and down from the previous six month average (also £8.8 billion).
Within this total, however, there was a potential indication of a strengthening in the housing market. The increase in net lending secured on dwellings was £7.3 billion, greater than in March and the previous six month average which were both £7.0 billion, although the annual growth rate slid from 11.7 per cent in March to 11.3 per cent in April.
In terms of approvals secured on dwellings, the Bank of England's figures also showed a rise, both in value and in number. The value jumped from March's £10.8 billion to £12.1 billion and the amount increased from 92,000 to 95,000. the previous six month averages were £9.8 billion and 85,000.
So, some good news on the housing front, but consumer credit simultaneously decreased. The increase, £1.3 billion (0.7 per cent), was the lowest since December 2003 when it stood at £1.1 billion.
Within this figure, net credit card lending, at £316 billion, was at its weakest since June 2001's total of £272 billion. Net other loans, meanwhile, remained broadly in line with the previous six month average.