“Today’s Bank of England figures were not entirely what we might have hoped for, given industry optimism about the general outlook for 2013. But while the number of approvals for house purchase and remortgage both fell, it is encouraging to see the value of purchase lending remained constant at £8.2bn.
“A drop in numbers is to be expected around the turn of the year, but the fact that the number of loan approvals for house purchase remained above the six month average suggests that overall conditions are continuing to improve.
“Brokers can certainly expect to see further rate cuts and product launches driving recovery and growth in the market. It will be interesting to see whether this month’s Budget brings any further initiatives to expand the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), promote higher loan to value (LTV) lending and address the continuing undersupply of housing.”