Housing sales remained low for the second month in a row, according to the latest statistics by the British Bankers' Association.

Last month saw 43,870 homes were bought, fractionally more than the 43,732 bought in January.

Down by a third

The number of sales is 33.2% down on the six month average and about 20,000 less than in February 2007.

According to the BBA 156,732 mortgages were approved in February.

Around 72,000 of these were remortgaging properties. The remaining 40,669 were issued for equity release.

Tight lending environment

‘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,’ said David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA.

According to the latest RICS Housing Market Survey confidence in the residential sector amongst surveyors dropped for the seventh month in succession in February with only 4% of surveyors reporting a rise in house prices in the UK compared to 57% reporting a fall.