Mortgage approvals fall for first time in 10 months

In August there were 52,317 approvals, down slightly from 52,404 in July.

But Michael O’Flynn, Director of FindaProperty.com, was among many observers not discouraged by the figures.

"It is encouraging to see that the number of loans for house purchase remained steady in August and was in excess of the previous six-month average," he said. "Over the course of 2009 the housing market has shown steady improvement and lending for house purchase is now up 63% year-on-year.

"Demand is also strong, but there are plenty of people who remain frozen out by the banks. We’ve seen record numbers of visitors to our site over the last couple of months yet we know tight lending restrictions will prevent many responsible borrowers from gaining finance. Before we see any change of pace in recovery, lenders must become more reasonable in their lending criteria."

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