The housing slump seems set to worsen after official figures revealed yesterday that mortgage lending dived by nearly 70% in October.

The Bank of England's latest report on the mortgage market revealed that net lending on homes, which strips out redemptions and repayments, reached just £459m during the month, the second lowest figure recorded by the Bank of England since it began to collect data in this format in 1993.

At 32,000, the number of new mortgages was also at a low, down on the 33,000 seen in September, and a disastrous showing when set against the 72,000 a month they were running at, at the end of 2007. Just 460,000 mortgages have been approved over the year to date – compared with 1,098,000 over the same period in 2007.

The Independent, The Times