Since the onset of the recession, each month we review the figure released by the Bank of England and for April, this shows the number of new mortgage approvals increased for the third month in a row to a total of 43,201 mortgages.

However, the number of remortgages or topping up of mortgages decreased, which is as expected considering the Bank of England base rate is still at an all time low.  Although many mortgage advisors and financial experts are saying interest rates can now only go up and are advising people to look at fixing their mortgage, many homeowners are sticking with their standard variable rate at the moment and taking that risk.

The number of mortgage approvals is usually seen as an indicator of short term trends so this increase suggests that sales are likely to continue to rise in the short term.

“Although it is an upward grind rather than a jump, at least it is a steady upward grind, and it’s consistent with a steady recovery in housing market activity,” said Philip Shaw of Investec.

Paul Broadhurst of the Building Societies Association (BSA) said: “The rate of decline in activity in the housing market may have started to slow, but overall the lending environment remains very challenging.”

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