The number of mortgage approvals fell to a six-month low in March, the Bank of England has reported.
March’s figure included 66,837 approvals for house purchase, down from February’s figure of 67,936.
March was the second month in a row that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase went down.
Altogether 122,918 mortgages were approved in March, down from 125,155 in February and from 128,188 in January.
The last time fewer loans were approved in a month was last September.
Howard Archer, economist at IHS Markit, said: “March’s second successive drop in mortgage approvals to a six-month low reported by the Bank of England adds to the evidence that the housing market is being increasingly affected by the increasing squeeze on consumers and their concerns over the outlook.”
However, he said a shortage of supply is likely to put a ‘floor’ under house prices, with property values expected to increase by 2% this year.
London agent Jeremy Leaf expressed concern, saying that March’s figures came at a time of year when there would normally be a seasonal pick-up.
“Yet we are not seeing the uplift we would have expected,” he said.