Mortgage approval figures dropped in March, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

It was the first time in four months that the level of approvals has not increased, but apparently this does not mean the improvement in housing market activity is running out of steam.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) is confident that the market is heading in a positive direction in the coming months, although it is starting at historically-low levels.

"Crucially, the Rics new-buyer enquiries series rose further last month and our suspicion is that this will translate into higher transactions levels over the coming months notwithstanding the drop in mortgage approvals in March,"the group stated.

Earlier this month, the government announced measures to protect mortgage holders in the event of them suffering a personal financial crisis.

Rics joined other property associations in welcoming the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme, which allows people to pay home loans back at a lower rate for up to two years if they fall on hard times.

Written by John Weeks

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