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follow Patrick 2018 Apr 1, 6:39pm
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Britain's housing market slowed in February as lenders approved fewer mortgages than expected, Bank of England figures showed on Thursday. ...The housing market has also been sluggish - especially in London and surrounding areas - and earlier on Thursday mortgage lender Nationwide said annual house price growth cooled to a seven-month low in March.The BoE said the number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to 63,910 in February from 67,110 in January, below economists' forecasts of a smaller drop to 66,000 in a Reuters poll.The central bank raised rates for the first time since 2007 in November, reversing a cut made in August 2016, and last month said rates would probably need to rise sooner and by slightly more than it had thought before.Economists polled by Reuters expect the BoE to raise rates to a new post-financial crisis high of 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent by May.