The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell at the end of last year to the lowest level since the global financial crisis, outside of the pandemic.

Mortgage approvals were down 23% month-on-month to 35,600 in December, in a fourth consecutive monthly drop.

The figure, published by the Bank of England, is lower than economists had predicted and falls far short of the average of 66,500 approvals a month averaged between 2015 and 2019.