The Bank of England's release on mortgage lending does show a futher slight rise for March.

The figures show mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to 39,230 in March from 37,716 in February. And this puts the level of approvals reasonably well up from the bottom reached last November of 27,000.

But the numbers are still running at about a third of what might be regarded a "normal" level. On that basis we are still in extraordinary territory as far as mortgage approvals and sales of homes are concerned.

So any encouragement that may be read into these figures should be treated with caution, especially as these figures are for the spring when housebuying activity would generally rise on a seasonal basis.