Home purchase approvals dropped to 61,039 last month
According to the latest figures from the Bank of England, UK lenders approved the fewest mortgages in almost three years in December last year, and consumer credit growth jumped up again.
The number of approvals fell to 61,039 last month — down from 64,712 in November and the weakest figure since January 2015. Meanwhile, unsecured credit grew by £1.5bn ($2.1bn), in line with the average of the previous six months.
The BoE had raised rates for the first time since 2007 in November last year and said further increases were likely in the coming years.
Also in November, the government had abolished the property tax for most first-time home buyers. However, there is little evidence in the latest figures that supports this initiative helped boost demand.