Mortgage lending fell for both house purchases and remortgaging in December according to the latest Bank of England figures.
Lending for house purchases was just £11.5bn for the month, the lowest level since January 2015, indicating signs of serious slowdown in the housing market.
There were 61,039 loans for house purchases made during the month. This number has continued to fall over the past six months.
Remortgaging was also down over the month, after a more buoyant October and November. In total £8.1bn was lent for remortgaging, and a total of 46,475 loans. This was down on the £9.3bn and £9.5bn lent in October and November respectively.
These mortgage figures can be viewed against a background of the annual growth in secured lending to individuals remaining stable during the month, at 3.3 per cent, with net lending remaining stable at £3.7bn.
Anderson Harris director Jonathan Harris says: “Lending for purchases and remortgaging fell in December, in line with other surveys, as the market slowed down in the run up to the festive period.
“Looking forward, with lenders keen to lend and the average pricing of two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages continuing to fall, there will be plenty of competitive deals to tempt those buyers willing to take the plunge in the next few weeks.’
North London estate agent and former RICS chairman Jeremy Leaf adds: “Although approvals were relatively flat in December it is probably no more than we expected at this time of year following relatively strong lending in October and November.
“What we have seen since on the ground is viewing numbers well up on this time last year but it remains to be seen whether this translates into sales in the next month or two.”