UK mortgage borrowing has shot up to levels not seen since mid-2008

Household debt is coming back.

Mortgage borrowing hit £13.6 billion in January, according to figures released on Wednesday by the British Bankers’ Association, representing a 38% jump from the previous year.

It’s the highest reading since mid-2008, the BBA said, as borrowers took advantage of low rates and readied themselves for future stamp duty rises.

Richard Woolhouse, the BBA’s chief economist, said: “The start of the year has seen a significant rise in mortgage borrowing. It seems that this has been driven, in part, by borrowers looking to get ahead of the increases in stamp duty for buy-to-let and second home buyers scheduled to come into effect in April.

The number of mortgage approvals in January was 33% higher than a year ago, with remortgaging up 42% and house purchase up 27%, according to the BBA.

Here’s the chart:

Businesses have also got in on the act. Net lending to companies “saw the biggest monthly jump since July 2008,” Woolhouse said.

Some are sounding the alarm over high levels of borrowing and house purchases with small deposits of 10% or less.

Family Building Society CEO Mark Bogard told Business Insider’s Lianna Brinded on Tuesday that Britain’s housing market is living dangerously “on the edge.”

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