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Lending slumps but property boom will keep on building

Mortgage lending was significantly down last month but experts are shaking off speculation that the housing market has peaked.

Figures from the Building Societies Association show mortgage lending slumped to 1.85bn in April from 2.41bn in March while approved loans plummeted to 1.78bn in April from 3.39bn in March.

BSA director-general Adrian Coles says: “After a strong start to the housebuying season in March, the market has levelled out, although figures may have been depressed by bank holidays during April.”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders&#39 April statistics also showed lending falling back significantly from March levels. Its figure show total gross mortgage lending fell to 9.4bn in April from 10.7bn in March.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Lending fell back from the strong levels seen in March but it is too early to say whether this heralds a slowdown in the housing market based on one month&#39s figures.

“Expectations of further interest rate increases have lessened recently and we believe this will help buoyant conditions to continue for some time.”

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