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Mortgage lending 'hits new low'

Home loans lending for purchase hit a decade-long low in May, new figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) show.The mortgage approvals were found to have fallen 20 per cent to just 28,000 - the lowest monthly total since records began in 1997.This total is also 56 per cent down on May 2007's figure, which was registered before the beginning of the credit crunch last summer.Elsewhere in the BBA report, the value of gross mortgage lending was found to have fallen from £17 billion to £16.2 billion in May.Commenting on the figures, BBA statistics director David Dooks said: "Measures of mortgage activity were lower in May as a result of tighter lending criteria and economic pressures on households."Only remortgaging business is holding up, where people need or want to take advantage of deals with other lenders."According to the most recent survey from lender HBOS, house prices in the UK are dropping at a rate of 2.5 per cent per month.

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