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FILE PHOTO: Estate agents’ boards are displayed, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Apsley, Hertfordshire, Britain, October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) – British lenders approved the highest number of mortgages since September 2007 last month, unexpectedly extending a post-lockdown surge, but there was a record drop in unsecured lending to consumers, Bank of England data showed on Thursday.

Mortgage approvals for house purchase jumped to 91,454 in September from August’s already-high reading of 85,530, exceeding all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists that had instead pointed to a decline.

Activity in Britain’s housing market has rebounded sharply since the end of lockdown restrictions and was further fuelled when finance minister Rishi Sunak temporarily suspended property purchase taxes in

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