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Mortgage approvals climb to highest level since March 2008

The number of mortgages being approved by banks has more than doubled over the past year, new figures from the Bank of England show.

The new data, which shows signs of a continued recovery in the housing market, reveals a total of 60,518 loans for people buying a new home were in the pipeline during November.

It is more than double the record low of 27,162 seen the November prior and is the highest level since March 2008.

According to the Bank of England, net lending also increased for the third month in a row, climbing to £1.46 billion.

The figures come after new data from Nationwide Building Society last week found house prices had risen by 5.9 per cent in 2009.

Nationwide said the average cost of a UK home rose by 0.4 per cent in December, to £162,103 – the eighth consecutive month of price increases.