Mortgage approvals fell in March


Fewer mortgages were approved by banks in April.

Mortgage transactions decreased in April as lending activity failed to rise.

The number of mortgages approved by lenders fell to a record low in April, according to figures revealed by the Bank of England.

Just 45,166 mortgages were secured, marking the lowest April figures since records began almost 20 years ago.  The total approvals were also down by 4% from the previous month.

Some experts have blamed the high number of public holidays for the poor figures.

Brian Murphy, from mortgage brokers the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The raft of bank holidays and the royal wedding inevitably skewed the April data, so an overall drop in the number of loan approvals and remortgages comes as no surprise”.

However, mutual lenders such as building societies revealed that though their mortgage lending statistics were down between March and April they were still higher than the figures recorded in the same period last year.

Adrian Coles of the Building Societies’ Association (BSA) said: “Lending activity by mutuals continues to improve with both gross lending and approvals in the first four months of the year up over 20% compared to the same period in 2010. This is a promising trend, but the number of transactions and the level of mortgage lending are likely to remain low until economic growth recovers and consumer confidence returns”.