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Sterling bank lending to property sinks in Q4-data

Source: Reuters - Tue 2th Feb 2010

Year-on-year UK bank lending to property rose just 1.3 billion pounds in fourth-quarter 2009,the smallest annual growth since March 1997, as owners resisted the temptation to accrue fresh debts, data showed on Tuesday.

Citing Bank of England figures, consultant Jones Lang La Salle said the final-quarter lending slump reflected slower progress at some banks to tackle their problem loans, but also a reluctance on the part of some investors to gear up higher than necessary.

"Equity remains plentiful for the right opportunities and many vendors who are repaying debt are not re-leveraging in the short term leading to an overall reduction in debt levels" said Jeremy Handley, a director in Jones Lang La Salle's valuation advisory team.

Total real estate lending in sterling, including lending by building societies, dropped by 2 billion pounds to 242 billion last quarter, against 2 billion pounds of growth over the final quarter in 2008.

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