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Mortgage applications dip during April

The number of applications for mortgages for both new homeowners as well as those looking for a better deal on their existing loan slumped during April, the latest figures have revealed.

The stuttering in the market has been attributed to a combination of the multiple bank holidays, as well as the distraction of the Royal Wedding, with many people opting to simply enjoy some time off work rather than concentrate on more mundane tasks such as financial planning.

The statistics released by the British Bankers Association have shown the number of new mortgages approved in April 2011 are around a fifth lower than they were in the previous year, with just 29.355 being agreed, a 6% fall in month on month figures. The amount of re-mortgage deals going through was even lower, with a 12% reduction from the previous month, with the figures at a 15 month low of 20,844.

However, it wasn’t just the prospect of a month long party that deterred consumers from looking at mortgage deals, according to experts. Many have suggested that the current climate is making many wary about committing themselves to a deal, especially when such uncertainty over interest rates rages.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders said that the total value of mortgage funds advanced, plunged by 14% during April and house prices were more fragile, too, with Halifax announcing drops in value of 1.4%. However, it seems that not all parties could agree, as Nationwide Building Society suggested that the decline in prices was limited to just 0.2%.

The National Association of Estate Agents was far more optimistic, suggesting that the market was not as stagnant as some have suggested. The group described sales as currently ‘stable’ reporting on average eight successful house sales per branch during the last month.

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