Gross mortgage lending fell by 6 per cent to £11bn in December from £11.7bn the month before, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The figure is the weakest December total since 2000, when gross lending stood at £10bn.
The figure is 18 per cent lower than £13.3bn recorded in December 2009, although the CML says comparisons are distorted as some households brought forward house purchase activity in the closing months of 2009 to take advantage of the stamp duty concession expiring at the end of the year.
Lending totalled £34.4bn in the fourth quarter, down from £37.9bn in the previous quarter and 11 per cent lower than the last three months of 2009 – £38.7bn.
For the whole of 2010, lending totalled £136.3bn, slightly higher than the CML’s annual forecast of £135bn. However, this is down 5 per cent from £143.3bn of total lending in 2009 and the lowest annual total since 2000 – £119.8bn.