BoE: Mortgage approvals fall

A total of 70,309 loans were approved in February, compared to 76,753 in January.

The BoE attributed the decline to "erratically high" lending in January and claimed the slow did not represent a cooling of the market.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “The property market recovery has been barrelling along for many months now.

“The next stage will really determine whether we can not only fully make up the lost ground, but move forward into new terrain.

“As mortgage lending to households continues to pick up, transforming postponed dreams into reality, lending to the right types of businesses is critical.

“The durability of the wider UK economy will depend strongly on a recovery in business investment, and the same is true of the property industry.

“There’s palpable optimism among housebuilders amid strong performance reports and progress is being made when it comes to completions – with signs this will turn into a real trend over the rest of 2014.

“And new building is alongside substantial investment from landlords. Supported by the excellent availability of buy to let finance, the quality of our housing stock is improving too. So there are reasons to be cheerful.”