The number of mortgages granted to new home buyers in November tumbled by nearly two thirds to a record low, it emerged yesterday.

The British Bankers' Association said that only 17,773 mortgages for new house purchases had been approved during the month. This was down by 61% on November last year and was the lowest figure recorded since the BBA began its series in 1997.

The BBA figures represent lending from Britain's banks, which accounts for about two thirds of the UK's mortgage lending. Mortgage approvals are running at barely a third of the level they were when the housing market peaked in July last year. The BBA said that the average mortgage granted for a house purchase during the month was £117,000 - down almost 24% on November last year.

The Times, The Independent