The Bank of England has admitted it does not know why key housing market indicators have been unexpectedly weak.
In its Monetary Policy Committee minutes for this month, it reported that there were signs of positive household spending growth.
“But against this, some housing market indicators had been weaker than expected. After several months of growth, loan approvals for house purchase [fell] by around 10% in February.
“It was not clear what had driven this fall.”
The MPC also noted that house price indices had slipped by 0.2% in March.
The latest lending figures, issued by the Council of Mortgage Lenders after the MPC meeting, show a 4% rise in mortgage lending on February.
Nevertheless, the CML says that mortgage lending for the first quarter of this year was a 10% fall on the last quarter of last year – although up 37% on the first quarter of 2013.