The UK's Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has declared that the country's housing market is "stuck in a rut", as February's gross mortgage lending figures remained at a similarly low level as January's figures.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell believes that the lending market will remain weak for the rest of 2011. "[There is] nothing that alters our underlying view that this is going to be a challenging year for households and the housing market," he says. "The housing market remains stuck in a rut and... we do not anticipate much relief in next week's Budget."
There is usually a rise in sales after the New Year break, but 2011's pickup was also weaker than 2010's.
It hasn't also been good for the rental market. Rents rose by 0.2% in February, owing to an undersupply of units. In London, rents rose 7.7% year-on-year. The number of tenants in arrears with their payments also rose, from 11% in January to 12.6% in February.