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Growth in mortgage lending slows in March

While February saw a £1.8 billion increase in mortgage lending across the UK this figure dropped to an increase of just £300 million in March amid concerns that the UK property market is slowing down. Even though the fact that UK mortgage lending is still growing is a positive sign there is concern at the steep rate of fall in the growth factor. There may be a number of reasons for the steep fall in growth but it does not help sentiment in the UK housing market.

There is a feeling that increased lending in December, to take account of the stamp duty reduction, has led to this rather volatile and difficult period since the start of the year. However, with UK mortgage approvals now averaging around 48,000 a month, down from 58,000 last year, there is concern this is well below the 70,000 figure which many people believe is consistent with stable house prices. As a consequence, it would not be a surprise to see some pricing pressure in the short-term until demand starts to build again.

The ongoing election has also had an impact upon the attitude of buyers who are unwilling to gamble their funds before knowing which political party or parties will control the UK economy for the next four years.

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