UK lenders approved 28,179 mortgages for house purchase in February, a decline of 30.6% year-on-year, the British Bankers' Association said Tuesday. The number was 24,278 in January, which was revised from an initial 23,376.

Net mortgage lending grew GBP 3.9 billion, higher than GBP 3.4 billion increased in January. It also marked an annual growth of 9.8%, moved into single digits for the first time since September 2001. Gross mortgage lending, at GBP 9.2 billion, was it's lowest since June 2001.

BBA statistics director, David Dooks said, Most new mortgage lending is being done by the high street banks but demand is, of course, being moderated by the impacts of the recession.

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