Mortgage lending for house purchase has fallen by almost a third over the past year, according to figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA).
However, net mortgage lending from the banking sector strengthened in February as the banks saw market share increase on the back of strong remortgaging activity.
The seasonally adjusted amount of approved loans for house purchase was £7bn in February, compared with a total of £18.8bn.
Mortgage for purchase are down 30.1% compared with the same period last year, while overall mortgage lending has fallen 7.8%, showing a major shift to remortgaging.
David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, comments: “In an environment of tightening lending criteria, re-mortgaging, either to fix, re-fix, or reduce borrowing costs, has been a clear influence on mortgage data in the first two months of this year, resulting in mainstream lenders picking up market share."
Net figures show lending in February was £5.6bn, up from £5bn in January and also above the six-month average of £5.1bn.
The number of loans for house purchase also took a hit, down 33.2% from last year to 43,870, while remortgaging grew by 5.5% to 72,193.
The figures provide further evidence that homeowners are choosing to stay put rather than move in a highly uncertain period for the UK housing market.
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