UK homeowners pay back mortgages

UK mortgages Aug09.jpg

One of the blog’s major themes is that it fears the idea of a quick V-shaped recovery will prove wishful thinking. New figures from the Bank of England seem to bear out its caution.

The slightly complex chart shows that net UK lending for mortgages (yellow line, then red diamond) has been falling steadily since the beginning of 2008. And provisional data (not included in the chart) suggest it actually fell in July, for the first time since records began in 1993.

Overall, mortgage holders paid back £418m ($681m) more than they borrowed. This was in spite of approvals for new mortgages reaching a 17-month high. As the Guardian notes, “cautious consumers and strict lending criteria kept net lending low“.

The UK’s housing bubble created major demand for most chemicals. If consumers and lenders remain cautious, as seems likely, it will prove very difficult to quickly replace these volumes with other applications.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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