Mortgage lending dips as buy-to-let purchasers take foot off pedal

Mortgage lending dipped during March as buy-to-let activity eased.

Despite the drop it was the strongest first quarter for mortgage approvals since 2007.

Valuations firm e.surv estimates there were 67,173 house purchase approvals, down 9.1% from February.

It says there were 11,487 first-time buyer approvals.

To date, e.surv estimates that a total of 210,468 house purchase approvals have been granted this year, 13.5% up on the first three months of last year.

Separately, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported 48,000 loans for house purchase in February – made up of 22,000 loans for first-time buyers and 26,000 to home movers – and a further 10,300 buy-to-let loans for house purchase.

All the figures were up on the previous month and markedly up on a yearly basis, with 11.1% more loans to first-time buyers, 13.5% more to home movers, and 30.4% more to buy-to-let purchasers.