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Mortgage approvals still down, along with consumer spending

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According to the National Association of Estate Agents, the UK property market is now ’stabilising’ – which, if you cut through the spin, simply means that a few metrics such as the number of sales agreed and the difference between asking and sale prices have remained roughly level for the past couple of months. The NAEA itself admits that there are a lot of properties on the market, buyers are being more cautious, and more sales are falling through before completion.

A more accurate picture is painted by the British Bankers Association, which says that April saw the second lowest level of mortgage approvals on recordand the month saw only a marginal improvement on March’s record low, so calling it any kind of recovery would be stretching the facts to breaking point.

There’s also bleak news for the British consumer services sector today – the CBI reports that this sector is currently struggling through its worst period since 2001 as consumers tighten their belts and cut back on luxuries like eating at restaurants and going to the cinema.

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