The approaching of the April 1 stamp duty surcharge deadline led to a severe drop-off in buy to let purchasers seeking loans - and as a result the number of mortgages approved by British banks in March fell to its lowest number since December.
Figures from the British Bankers’ Association show that members approved 45,096 mortgages for house purchases last month, down from 45,646 in February.
The BBA figures do not include lending by building societies, which accounts for around third of mortgages.
Re-mortgaging also fell to 24,833 in March from 25,034 a month earlier.
The total volume of mortgage approvals dropped to 78,448 in March from 79,159 the previous month.