Bank holidays hit mortgage approvals

Mortgage approvals for people buying a home and switching to a new deal dropped during April as the long bank holiday weekends and economic uncertainty dented activity in the property market.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell by 6 per cent during the month to stand at 29,355, nearly a fifth lower than in April 2010, according to data yesterday from the British Bankers' Association (BBA). The reduction in the number of people remortgaging was even steeper, diving by 12 per cent compared with March to 20,844, the lowest level since January last year.

The BBA partly attributed the drop to the Easter and royal wedding bank holiday weekends. Net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, was subdued at 1.3 billion.