Mortgage approvals rose in December 2018 on a yearly basis, but were down compared to November 2018, the UK Finance data showed.
There were 38,779 mortgage approvals in December 2018, up six per cent from a year ago, but down from 39,205 in November 2018.
However, the value of net mortgage lending increased by £1.235bn, the smallest rise since August 2016.
Approvals for home purchase were 5.3% higher, remortgage approvals were 5.8% lower and approvals for other secured borrowing were 18.9% lower.
The £11bn of credit card spending in December 2018 was 8.8% higher than the same month the previous year.
The outstanding level of credit card borrowing grew by 4.7% in the twelve months to December. Personal borrowing through loans and overdrafts grew by 3.4% in the year to December.
Personal deposits in total grew by 0.6% in the year to December 2018. Deposits held in instant access accounts were 2.4% higher than last December.
Planning ahead before March deadline
Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, said Brexit was all consuming and there was little doubt that it is continuing to affect the housing market.
“The fact that house purchase approvals were up in December suggests that people are planning ahead and making their move before the March deadline.
“Interestingly the number of remortgage approvals took a dip compared to the same month in 2017, which bucks the trend throughout the rest of the year.
“Nonetheless, I would expect it to be the remortgage sector that will be keeping the mortgage market going in the coming months, as we wait to see how our exit from the EU pans out.”
Dave Harris, chief executive officer of More 2 Life, said that with the indulgence of the festive period, some consumers may now be checking their bank statements nervously.
“Today’s statistics highlight that more and more people are using credit card borrowing to pay for their daily necessities and our own research last year revealed that the level of unsecured debt among the over-55s has risen 34 per cent in the last four years, far higher than the national average.”