The number of mortgage applications successfully approved over the past year fell by 17%, despite a growth of 0.8% in net mortgage lending.
Mortgage approvals are generally considered to be a good indicator of lenders' attitudes and prospective market trends, with latest figures reflecting the fact that lenders are declining a larger number of mortgage applicants compared to last year. Strict credit checks and lending criteria are continuing to impact on prospective buyers' ability to borrow.
The research, compiled by the British Bankers Association (BBA), also revealed gross mortgage lending of £7.1 billion; below the monthly average and reflecting a continuing lack of activity in the housing market.
David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, said: "We continue to see the household sector increasing deposits and repaying debt.
"Repayments of both mortgages and unsecured lending have grown strongly this year as households seek to reduce borrowing and borrowing costs."
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