Mortgage approvals continue to fall

The figures show that there were 61,707 approvals in May, down from 62,806 a June and 66,507 in March.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, attributed the dip to a state of calm beginning to sweep the market following the implementation of the MMR.

He said: “MMR has temporarily put the buffers on lending, as banks adjust to lengthier advisory processes and stricter stress-testing rules.

“MMR is forcing forward thinking among borrowers and banks alike, testing finances against the effects of a base rate rise.

“A sense of reality is starting to set into the market, as the first signs of cooling property prices are beginning to emerge.

And Sexton said new rules restricting the proportion of high LTV loans will prevent the number of ‘highly geared’ households becoming unsustainable.

He said: “It is fundamental that caps on small deposit lending are accompanied by greater house-building, or first-time buyers may start to run out of options. The Bank of Mum and Dad is drying up. Wages are only slowly recovering. And savings rates are still rock bottom.

“High LTV loans are a way of keeping the property market accessible to borrowers striving to save for a deposit, who haven’t benefited from capital gains.

“Capping high LTV lending may leave many borrowers with few options to get onto the ladder. More must be done to stimulate wage rises and upscale property development to give first-time buyers finances a chance to catch up with property prices – without solely resulting to high LTV lending.”