Mortgage approvals for home purchases fell sharply to 43,450 in March, their lowest level since December 2010, according to e.surv’s latest Mortgage Monitor.
There were 7% fewer purchase approvals than in March last year – the first year-on-year fall since May 2011.
With an 11% drop in February, it is the second successive month in which approvals have fallen.
E.surv attributes the fall to a drop in lending to first-time buyers. Loans for purchase of the cheapest property – typical first-time buyer homes – fell 14% in March to their lowest level for 15 months.
There were only 10,428 loan approvals on property worth up to £125,000 in March, down from 12,247 in February.