Mortage lending down 14 per cent in April

Mortgage lending fell 14 per cent in April compared with the previous month, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The £9.8bn lent was five per cent down on the same month last year.

Seasonal factors, including an extra bank holiday, were blamed for the decline.

The CML said Easter falling in April had also taken its toll.

"The extended holidays around Easter and the royal wedding, makes it harder to read the immediate market situation,” said CML chief economist Bob Pannell.

"Levels of activity look set to remain broadly flat over the near-term,” he added.

Interest rates are unlikely to rise much, the CML said.