E.surv has reported that February’s mortgage approvals were 1.25% lower than in January 2018 and down 2.6% compared to February 2017.
However, between January and February, the proportion of loan approvals going to first-time buyers and others with small deposits increased from 21% to 21.1%.
In December 2017, 18.2% of loans were to small deposit borrowers while the month before it was just 17.2%.
The latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv, shows there were 66,364 mortgages approved (seasonally adjusted) during February 2018.
Richard Sexton (pictured), director at e.surv Chartered Surveyors, said: “While the number of approvals fell slightly in February, this came after two stellar months for the UK mortgage market – prompted by a rise in the Bank of England base rate at the end of last year.
“Activity is expected to pick up again in future months as existing homeowners continue to feel the cost of increased mortgage payments in their pockets.
“Attention will also turn to when the next base rate rise takes place, with many experts predicting this for the late spring or early summer. However, with the recent Spring Statement announcing Stamp Duty relief has helped over 60,000 first-time buyers, market conditions are still very favourable right now for those looking to take their first steps.”