Potential buyers avoid market

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The Independent Online

Mortgage lending stalled during February as potential buyers continued to sit on their hands in the face of economic uncertainty.

A total of £9.5bn was advanced during the month, broadly in line with January's one-year low of £9.48bn, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. The group said it had seen a seasonal pick-up in interest in recent weeks but demand was still weaker than a year ago, despite that the end of stamp-duty holiday 12 months ago distorted the market. Data from the Bank of England has showed a slight pick-up in activity, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase rising to 43,000 during February, up from 41,000 in January.

But the figure was still well below the 80,000 to 90,000 economists believe is needed for a stable housing market.

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