Mortgage market set for slow recovery

Recent figures from the Bank of England have hinted the housing market may be starting to pick up.

The Banks mortgage data shows approvals rose to 39,000 in March, compared to a low of 27,000 in November.

However, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) explained this level is still lower than would be expected in a recession.

"A key issue remains accessibility to the market for first time buyers who are continuing to find the bulk of mortgages on offer only providing maximum loan to values of around 75 per cent," explained Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

He added the situation was unlikely to change in the near term but it would be interesting to see the reception of the governments recently announced measures to guarantee new issuance of asset-backed securities.

Mr Rubinsohn predicted approvals would fail to climb above 60,000 per moth by the turn of the year.

Some homeowners may decide to improve rather than move, with conservatories, roof lights and garden studios all possible projects.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders released its own statement on the results, saying it predicts a period of lending that stabilises, but "bumps along the bottom".