Mortgage approvals fall 6% in April

New figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) showing a 6% fall in mortgage approvals have underscored the property market slowdown in April.

As the extended bank holiday weekends and the general economic uncertainty took its toll on market activity, the number of house purchase fell by a nearly a fifth year-on-year to 29,355.

Savings by consumers rose at a significantly slower pace in April, rising by just £843 million, compared with £2.31 billion in March. The latest figure is much lower than the average of £2.5 billion over the recent months.

Overall savings stand 3.8% higher from a year ago at £641.9 billion, with consumers depositing £9.1 billion in tax-free ISAs for the full-year to April, said the BBA.

It said borrowing on credit cards was also higher by £228 million during April, compared with the recent monthly average of £100 million - the rise mostly driven by interest and charges.

Consumer caution seen during the past months was reflected in figures that showed repayments continued to outstrip new spending.

Lending through personal loans and overdrafts contracted for the 21st consecutive month, as consumers repaid £181 million more than they borrowed.

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