No turning point yet in mortgage market

It is still unrealistic to say the mortgage market has reached a turning point, it has been claimed.

Commenting on recent figures from the Bank of England, Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) communications manager Bernard Clarke said such suggestions would be premature.

The statistics show the number of mortgage approvals rose between February and May from just over 38,000 to 43,414.

However, the CML expert underlined there is still a long way to go in terms of a return to normal levels.

"We are possibly past the worst in terms of mortgage business … but in terms of any sort of recovery there is certainly little sign of strength in that recovery," Mr Clarke explained.

According to data from the Building Societies Association, gross mortgage lending by its members totalled £1.5 billion in May 2009, compared to £3.5 billion a year earlier.

Homeowners who have failed to secure a mortgage for a new property approved may decide instead to invest in a bespoke conservatory to improve their existing house.