Mortgage approvals fell in May, according to data released this morning by the Bank of England.

The drop surprised analysts, going against recent signs indicating that the housing market has picked up over the last few months.

Mortgage approvals for house purchases numbered 64,434 in May from 67,580 in April. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast 68,700 mortgage approvals were made in May.

According to the B of E figures, growth of consumer lending has also slowed; however lending to non-financial businesses rose by 713 million pounds, recovering around half of April’s 1.473 billion pound dip.

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