New mortgage approvals down in February

| March 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Residential mortgage approvals declined in February, new figures from the Bank of England show.

The number of loans sanctioned for house purchases fell by over 1,000, compared to a month earlier, to 47,094.

The total was also well below the previous six months average of 55,130 and 21% below the peak seen in November, as the end to the stamp duty holiday loomed.

The trend supports the view that house prices will, at best, remain flat during 2010, although the picture remains confused.

Halifax reported a 1.5% month-on-month fall in the average price of a UK home in February but at the same time pointed out that severe winter weather and the end of the stamp duty holiday would have played their part.

Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) February survey revealed that the supply of new homes coming onto the market has begun to outstrip fresh demand.

A net balance of 15% of surveyors reported a rise, rather than a fall, in new instructions, compared with a negative balance of 5% in January.

While 17% more RICS members reported a rise, rather than a fall, in house prices the proportion had fallen significantly from 31% reporting a rise, in January.

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