The number of mortgages approved in the
The Bank of
Mortgage approval numbers are closely followed by economists as a timely indicator on housing market activity, which some surveys suggest has come off the boil in recent months.
The dip in May approvals follows the introduction of new lending rules in April under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which force banks and building societies to undertake tough affordability checks before they grant loans.
The BoE has been closely monitoring prices for signs of a bubble but has so far held off from imposing any of its own forceful policies to rein in the market. Last week its financial policy committee introduced measures that will only bite if house prices rise more than 20% by 2017.
"Given that the
"This was the fourth successive fall in approvals, and leaves them . . . 19% below this January's peak."
"After the temporary disruption from tighter regulations has passed, we expect approvals to return to their upward trend and we look for house prices to gain 10% in 2014 and 2015," he said.
The BoE's data on the amount of mortgage lending showed it rose more than expected by pounds 1.99bn in May - the biggest increase since
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