Trawling through mortgage lending data is no easy matter, not least because short-term trends are at variance with the longer-term picture. Mortgage approvals in February, for example, rose to a six-month high as borrowers reacted to recent changes in stamp duty, the underpinning virtues of Help to Buy, and a 44 basis points drop in the average mortgage interest rate to 2.78 per cent in the last six months.
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