Mortgage Approvals in the U.K. Hit Lowest Point Since 1997

London–U.K. bank mortgage approvals last month fell to their lowest point in more than a decade, according to the London-based British Bankers’ Association.The figures indicate how stricter lending is reducing housing market action, the Financial Times said. Lenders in the U.K. have become more stringent about issuing loans–and also have increased rates and taken away mortgage offers in the past month.BBA members approved 35,417 home purchase mortgages in March–the lowest amount since 1997. All forms of mortgages declined, including refinancings. Since February, the approval level had fallen 18 percent and was 46 percent lower than a year ago.