Britons Scramble for Cheap Home Loans Before More Rate Hikes

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(Bloomberg) -- The prospect of more U.K. interest-rate increases is making Britons rush to lock in cheap home loans, according to data published Monday.

Banking industry figures show that remortgage approvals increased almost 10 percent in February from a year earlier, while loans for house purchase have fallen. According to UK Finance, borrowers want to “lock in to attractive deals amid speculation of further interest rate rises later this year.”

The Bank of England hinted last week that it’s likely to raise its benchmark rate in May, and policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe said the economic outlook suggests a need for one or two interest-rate increases per year. The central bank increased borrowing costs for the first time in more than a decade in November.

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