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Mortgage lending still impeding housing recovery

March’s approval activity, both in volume and value, was marginally lower than in February and remains at a historically subdued level.

Approvals for house purchase fell slightly in March and were some 25% lower than in March 2008. Re-mortgaging approvals declined slightly as borrowers continued to revert to standard variable rates rather than moving to new fixed-rate

BBA statistics director, David Dooks, said: "Lending to households continues to grow, as banks make funds available for people who meet their lending criteria but consumer confidence is fragile and unlikely to change demand markedly in the

"The banks’ figures also show it would be unrealistic to expect the mortgage market to recover in a steady and consistent way in the current economic environment.

"Company demand for increased bank finance is subdued, as large corporates seek alternative funding sources and small businesses operate out of cash-flow during this recession."

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