Approvals tumble to 43,450 in March

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.