Mortgage approvals fell to new low in April

There was little sign of an end to the pain in the property market yesterday as the number of new mortgages approved for house purchase slumped in April to a record low, beating even March's record-breakingly poor performance.

The Bank of England reported that the number of new mortgages being approved for people buying a home was just 58,000, the worst monthly figure since the Bank began collating the data 15 years ago, and only about half the recent peak of 115,000 witnessed in May last year.

Observers had expected a small rebound after the severe crisis the credit markets experienced in March, when Bear Stearns had to be rescued by the US Federal Reserve.

The evidence points to yet more bad news. Alan Clarke, of BNP Paribas, said: "Given the usual lead over house price inflation of nine months or so, the series is pointing to continued falls in house prices for at least another year."

Last month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said confidence had reached a 30-year low. Arrears and repossession figures are on a sharply rising trend, as seen in the latest announcements from Bradford & Bingley.

The Bank of England also said that mortgage lending retreated to £6.4bn in April, the lowest level since November 2004, markedly below the £7.5bn monthly average for the previous six months.

Consumer credit growth remains relatively strong, partly due to households having to turn to more expensive sources of finance.

The data suggests that the credit crunch is far from over, and mortgages remain hard to come by.

Moneyfacts, a financial comparison website, says that the number of mortgage products on the market has fallen to a quarter of where it was a year ago. Prices, though falling, are high by historic standards, and are proving a challenge for first-time buyers.

Headlines about falling house prices are also perhaps creating their own self-fulfilling downward momentum, as buyers wait for further falls to materialise before putting in an offer.

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

    Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

    £55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

    Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

    £16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Day In a Page

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf