New mortgage lending jumped to its highest level in 10 months in February, the British Bankers’ Association reported yesterday, in the latest sign that the housing market may be stabilising.

But mortgage approvals remain barely above the record lows of last autumn and economists warned that it was too early to predict a recovery.

New mortgages rose by 16% last month to a seasonally adjusted 28,179 from 24,278 in January. That was the highest level since April of last year and is up 58% from the record low in November.

However, it was still 31% lower than in February 2008 and nearly two-thirds lower than the peak levels of lending at the end of 2006.

Financial Times, The Times