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The number of new mortgages dropped slightly during March, which may be an indication of a slowing housing market, according to the Bank of England.

The total value of mortgages in March was £9.9bn, compared to the adjusted figure of £10bn for February. 111,000 new mortgages were approved in March, compared with 117,000 the previous month.

That was the lowest amount of new mortgages since April 2006, and well below forecasts of 117,000.

The British Bankers’ Association has announced similar trends in its figures which indicate that the number of mortgages in March was down 8% on the same month in 2006, though it says that increasing house prices meant the total value of the loans rose by 5%.

With remortgages removed from the figures, the year on year drop in more drastic, at 12.3%.

The Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee will meet next week to decide whether another interest rate rise will be necessary.

The mortgage figures are not expected to prevent the Committee from approving another rate rise, with some experts believing that rates of up to 6% will be necessary.

There is evidence that the three interest rate rises are having an effect, from these mortgage figures, to the house price growth slowing, though the market in London and the South East remains robust.

In addition to falling mortgage approvals, the Bank of England said that the amount of money being lent to credit card and loan customers also fell, from £1bn in February, to £900m in March.

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