Mortgage approvals on the slide

THE number of mortgage approvals in January plummeted by 17 per cent in January compared with the previous month, according to official figures.

Data from the Bank of England revealed that the number of home loans approved for house purchases in January fell by 17 per cent compared with the previous month.

However, the 48,198 approvals was still 43 per cent higher than the same month year before when the global economic crisis battered the housing market.

Gross mortgage lending fell from £13.5bn to £10.2bn in January.

The big freeze led to fewer sales over the month, according to analysts.

A Nationwide report last week blamed a slowing up of lending as the main reason for the first fall in UK house prices for 10 months.