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More mortgages approved as house prices stabilise

House prices are stabilising and the number of mortgages being approved is starting to rise, according to the latest figures.

The Bank of England says the number of mortgages approved for home purchases rose to 48,421 in June. That was an increase of 2,571 compared with the average number for the previous six months.

Meanwhile, figures from the Nationwide building society show that house prices are stabilising. The price of the average home in the UK rose by 0.2% in July to £168,731. That is just 0.4% lower than a year ago.

The Nationwide points out that although prices are virtually the same as they were a year ago, that does not mean that they have remained level throughout the last 12 months.

They fell in the second half of last year and have risen steadily this year to recover the same level as last summer.

The housing market is still slow, of course, but the recovery in house prices and increase in mortgage approvals suggests that activity is picking up.

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