Mortgage accessibility remains a problem

The news from the Bank of England that mortgage approvals increased between January and February should be taken with a pinch of salt, it has been suggested.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn explained that, while the figures were a step in the right direction, the government should not ignore what has to be done to help restore the market.

He said buyer interest was now feeding through into actual activity, something that reflects the 20 per cent drop in house prices and a reduction in borrowing costs.

"Even so, accessibility to the market still remains a problem with many first-time buyers struggling to find the necessary deposit to compensate for the much reduced loan-to-value ratios now being offered by lenders," Mr Rubinsohn added.

The expert called on the government to take further steps to improve the mortgage market, noting that the level of activity is still historically low.

With the first signs that the market may be on the road to recovery, those looking to sell their home may decide to add a conservatory or glazed kitchen extension to help it stand out to potential buyers.

According to the Banks figures, £9.4 billion worth of mortgages were approved in February 2009.