Talk of a recovery in the housing market is premature, new figures from the country's major banks has shown.
According to the British Bankers' Association (BBA), mortgage lending fell for the first time in four months in March; 6.8 per cent down from February and 25 per cent lower from a year earlier.
The BBA says that a recovery in 2009 remains "unrealistic".
"[The figures] show it would be unrealistic to expect the mortgage market to recover in a steady and consistent way in the current economic environment," commented its statistics director David Dooks.
The statistics show remortgage lending is now a third of the level in April 2008, as homeowners look to stay on lenders' low standard variable rates rather than lock into new deals.
Lending for home purchases is now down 39 per cent on a year ago and down 67 per cent on the July 2007 peak.
March saw 26,097 home purchase mortgages approved and 26,831 remortgage deals cleared less than half the level seen in 2007 at the peak of the boom and down 25.3 per cent and 58.4 per cent respectively on a year previously.
Gross mortgage lending recorded at £8.9 billion was down 47.2 per cent on a year ago.