Each month we discuss how interest rates are changing and how the number of mortgage applications or mortgage lending figures are adapting to the economic climate, as many are looking for signs that the housing market has bottomed out and the recession may be on its way out.

According to figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA) released this week, the number of mortgage approvals for new property purchases increased by around four per cent last month whilst the number of remortgages has fallen for the fourth month in a row as consumers remain on their standard variable rate. The value of the new mortgage approvals is still low as the average house price has dropped due to the current market.

The reports in the media can be confusing as some papers opt for the positive reports that mortgage approvals increased by four per cent and others opt for the more negative view that the combined figures of increased mortgage approvals and the fall in the number of remortgages means that the overall mortgage lending figure is a drop from previous months.

The figures are what they are, but how we interpret them depends on your point of view, something that we will not doubt discuss often over coming months.

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