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Mortgage approvals continue fall

The number of mortgage approvals is continuing to fall, official figures show.Statistics from the Bank of England reveal the number of approved house purchases fell from 112,000 in March to 107,000 in April.This follows a slip from 118,000 in January this year and reflects similar falls in the number of approved remortgages and those for other purposes over the same period.Analysts say the fall reflects slowing growth in house prices, caused by affordability constraints heightened by recent interest rate rises."The Bank of England mortgage approvals data add to the growing evidence that housing market activity is now coming off the boil," Howard Archer of research firm Global Insight said."We expect housing market activity to moderate further over the coming months as May's interest rate hike adds to affordability pressures," he predicted.The Bank revealed total lending to individuals amounted to £9.4 billion in April, slipping from the £10.1 billion seen the previous month.Consumer credit saw slowing growth of just £0.5 billion.Mr Archer added: "This is clearly a consequence of consumers striving to curb their use of credit cards and finding less expensive ways of financing their spending by switching more to secured borrowing."

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