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LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - The number of mortgages approved for house purchase by major British banks rose to a three-month high in April but was still nearly 10 percent lower than a year earlier, industry figures showed on Friday.
Trade body UK Finance said 38,049 mortgages were approved for house purchase on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, recovering from March’s three-month low of 37,606 but 9.4 percent lower than in April 2017.
Refinancing of existing mortgages was up 13.7 percent on the year at 28,212.
“April saw steady growth in mortgage lending and approvals, following a slowdown in activity the previous month. This was driven by strong remortgaging levels, as borrowers locked into attractive deals amid expectations of a base rate rise,” said Eric Leenders, personal finance managing director UK Finance. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alistair Smout)