Harsh standards prompt drop in secured UK loans

Tighter lending conditions have sparked the steepest-ever climb in British housing equity in the last quarter of 2008.

The Bank of England data, out on Wednesday, put the figure for housing equity withdrawal at -£8,018 billion for the final quarter of last year, the highest since records began in 1970. The figure signals investment in housing far exceeds borrowing.

The Bank declined to comment on whether this was a result of individuals borrowing less against the value of their homes or whether

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