THE size of the house market slowdown was highlighted after figures showed demand for home loans at its lowest level in almost four years.
The British Bankers' Association said the number of house mortgages approved by its members fell 20% in November and by 41% on the same month of 2003.
The figure of 47,095 was the lowest since January, 2001. It comes after a series of interest rate rises helped take the steam out of the market.
An association spokesman said it was unlikely the figures would show an immediate pick-up.
The BBA said the number of approvals for remortgaging fell 13% on October's figure, while equity withdrawal loans were 5% lower than a month earlier.
It also emerged that new borrowing on credit cards totalled £7.88bn in November, slightly stronger than the average of the previous six months. Repayments continued to hold up.