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The number of homebuyer mortgages approved by high street banks has notched up its biggest monthly rise for more than six years, figures showed on Tuesday, indicating that a home loans price war is encouraging more people to commit to a house purchase.

The Bank of England said a total of 68,076 loans were approved for house purchases in April – the highest monthly figure for 14 months. This was 6,100 more loans than were approved in March, representing a 9.9% rise, and amounting to the largest monthly increase since the start of 2009.