The number of mortgages approved for first-time buyers and home movers halved in the year to June, lenders reported yesterday, giving warning that the situation was set to deteriorate further as funding conditions remained difficult.

The number of home loans granted to first-time buyers sank to 18,100 in June, down by 8% from May and 46% lower than June last year, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed, highlighting the malaise in the housing market.

Lending to home movers fell by 8% during the month, with 29,100 borrowers getting a mortgage in June, down from 32,100 in May, and 64,100 in June last year - a decline of 54%. The number of re-mortgage deals also slumped in June, with 75,000 home loans approved, down from 96,000 in June last year.

The home loan figures came as official figures showed that house prices slipped by 0.7% in June, taking the total fall in the three months to June 30 to 1.1%.

Bob Pannell, head of research at the CML, said that lending was unlikely to pick up.

The Times, The Independent