Data out this morning from the Nationwide show that in February house prices dipped by 0.3 per cent taking the annual growth rate to 2.2 per cent from 3.2 in January. Their chief economist said, ‘month-to-month changes can be volatile, but the slowdown is consistent with signs of softening in the household sector’. Yesterday data for mortgage approvals from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association showed these soared at the end of 2017 as compared to the same time the year before. City AM says this was because better product availability, low interest rates, and competition between lenders encouraged first time buyers so that 74 per cent of applications were approved, up from 53 per cent in 2016.
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