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Fall in mortgages points to weakening property market

The Bank of England reported that the number of mortgage approvals fell to 59,029 in November, the lowest since June 2013 and down from 59,511 in October. The figure represents a 23% fall from the 74-month high of 76,611 approvals last January. The BoE's figures provide further evidence of a weakening of demand in the property market. Analysts suggested that tougher lending criteria introduced last April have put off some would-be borrowers. The BoE also published figures showing that consumer credit increased by £1.3bn in November, which is the largest upswing seen since a £1.4bn increase in February 2008. Analysts said the surge in consumers snapping up items on Black Friday may have contributed to the increase in borrowing. Personal loan and overdraft borrowing jumped by £983m, while credit card borrowing increased by £269m in November.

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