UK mortgage approvals rise as tax effect fades

UK mortgage approvals rose for the first time in four months in March as the effects of the worst cold snap in three decades and higher taxes on property sales faded. The Centre for Economics and Business Research said yesterday that house prices will extend their recovery this year as low borrowing costs and the shortage of homes support the property market. Today’s report comes as Prime Minister Gordon Brown battles to stay in office two days before the May 6 general election. “Housing activity may be starting its slow upward grind,” said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Securities in London. “It’s nothing spectacular, but it does confirm the economic recovery is gaining ground and some traction.”

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