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British Bankers Association casts doubt on property market pickup

The British Bankers Association has today issued figures showing that 26,097 mortgages were approved in March down from 28,024 in February. However, more alarming is the realisation that year-on-year mortgage approvals are down 25.3% from March 2008. Even though November last year was the recent low, with only 17,574 mortgages approved, there had been a gradual increase in the number and analysts had expected a better figure in March.

The volatility in the numbers is another reality check for those forecasting a V shaped recovery in the UK property market as it seems evident that forecasting future mortgage approval numbers will be difficult to say the least. One figure which came out of the US last week was the confirmation that over 50% of home purchases in the US are the result of foreclosures, something which has yet to hit the UK market.

Foreclosure sales can be very misleading as they will not last forever and would indicate that only "bottom fishers" are active in the property market. Slowly but surely forecasts of a recovery toward the end of 2009 are starting to creep further and further into the future when in reality nobody knows how and when the recession will end and how quickly a recovery will drop into place.

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