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)|