Monday, the British Bankers' Association said the number of loans approved for house purchases in the UK fell to 26,097 in March from 28,024 in February. Mortgages approved in March were 25.3% lower than the previous year level.

Re-mortgaging approvals declined slightly as borrowers continued to revert to standard variable rates rather than moving to new fixed rate products. Re-mortgaging tumbled 58.4% annually to 26,831.

Gross mortgage lending was GBP 8.9 billion, which was the lowest since April 2001. Meanwhile, house purchases loans totaled GBP 3.3 billion compared to GBP 3.5 billion in the previous month.

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