Mortgage market is hit by slowdown

Mortgage lending rose at its slowest rate for more than a decade during November as the number of loans approved for house purchase also slumped to a 20-month low, figures showed yesterday.

Net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, was 1.46bn during the month, half the level seen in November last year and the lowest figure since August 1999, according to the British Bankers' Association.

The subdued lending market also showed little sign of picking up in the near future, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase dropping to a 20-month low of 29,991.

The figures were in line with those reported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders earlier this month, which showed that total mortgage advances had sunk to their lowest level for November since 2000.

It adds up to bad news for the housing market, suggesting subdued levels of activity are likely to continue.