The number of loans approved for other purposes (26,666) was lower than both the November figure and the previous six-month average.
Commenting on the latest Bank of England lending to individual figures, Nigel Lewis, FindaProperty.com’s property expert, said: "It’s not the end of the world that these figures are down. The numbers relate to loan approvals for transactions that can take another six weeks to complete.
"The figures for November were strong because buyers had their loans approved in time for their deals to be complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday.
"Borrowers knew that a loan approved in December would be too late to benefit from the tax holiday so they’ve put their plans on ice, enjoyed Christmas and will now be reassessing their situation."
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