Net lending fell by 21% to £2.7bn between March and April, although the number of approvals rose

Net mortgage lending sunk to its lowest level in eight years in April, according to the latest snapshot of the market by the British Bankers Association (BBA).

The BBA reported that net mortgage lending fell 21% to £2.7bn last month, compared with a revised £3.4bn in March, its lowest level since March 2001.

Mortgage approvals during April were up slightly on the previous month but remain 15.5% lower than for the same period last year.

Housing Estates
The BBA said that the house purchase part of the mortgage market appears to have stabilised

The BBA said approvals came in at a seasonally adjusted 27,685, compared with 26,671 in March.

BBA statistics director David Dooks said: “The house purchase part of the mortgage market appears to have stabilised, with slightly more approvals coming through, although April's weak net mortgage lending reflects the lower number of approvals in previous months.”

Gross mortgage lending totalled £7.9bn, down from £8.7bn in the previous month. At the same time, the value of all mortgage loans approved stood at £7.2bn, compared with £7.3bn in March.

Dooks added: “Households' uncertain financial circumstances not surprisingly continue to dictate consumer behaviour, both in the housing market and in generating only low demand for new personal loans.”