The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases sunk over the year to June 2016, the month Britain headed to the polls for the EU referendum.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said there were 48,973 mortgage approvals for house purchases in June, down 11% over the year. But this was also highest figure since October in a mini-bounceback from the start of 2016.

"It is irresponsible to interpret this as simply a Brexit effect at this stage," said Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA.

Mortgage approvals took a knock at the end of 2015 and through into the following year after the then chancellor, George Osborne, unveiled a tax hike for buy-to-let investors.

He put an extra 3% surcharge on basic stamp duty rates for all purchases of additional properties. It followed a number of other tax increases for landlords, including the scrapping of a relief on their rental income. After a buy-to-let rush before the new tax year in April, activity fell away.

The BBA data also showed a 4% increase in gross mortgage borrowing over the year in June to £12.2bn.

The prospect of an economic slowdown, potentially even a recession, after the vote for Brexit in the 23 June referendum is causing the Bank of England to consider cutting interest rates further. The base rate is currently 0.5%, an all-time low, where it has sat since 2009.

Mortgage lending data from the BBA

Month Number of loans approved for house purchase Number of loans approved for remortgaging Gross loans for house purchases (£m)
Jun 2015 53,642 24,859 11,733
Jul 2015 54,454 27,428 11,984
Aug 2015 46,212 24,830 12,311
Sep 2015 48,199 26,901 12,218
Oct 2015 49,371 26,956 12,778
Nov 2015 45,099 24,922 12,722
Dec 2015 32,484 20,184 12,224
Jan 2016 29,536 19,020 13,429
Feb 2016 39,509 23,860 12,904
Mar 2016 47,362 26,503 17,051
Apr 2016 43,424 26,161 12,178
May 2016 46,124 27,349 12,121
Jun 2016 48,973 29,506 12,177