Official seasonally adjusted data from the BoE showed the number of approvals for loans on dwellings fell 1% between January and March to 377,594 from 381,495 in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the value of lending fell by 0.8% to £62.15bn from £62.72bn.
However, this masked significant differences across the three months covered by the data and between lending types.
Remortgaging vs home purchase
Perhaps most notably, loans approved for house purchases fell by 5.4% over the period and by 3.9% in value, with each month falling compared to the previous one.
However, remortgage approvals were up by 5.6% in number and by 4.1% in value – with January seeing more activity than February and March.
Bluestone Mortgages director of sales and marketing Steve Seal noted: “With at least one interest rate rise rumoured for the coming months ahead, a slight decrease in loan approvals isn’t surprising, as potential buyers wait to see how the rise takes effect.”