The amount of money being lent to UK homebuyers fell last month, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
There was just £10.4 billion lent out to home-movers and first-time buyers, a full £1 billion down on December's figure of £11.4 billion in December and down by £0.3 billion on the same month last year when £10.7 billion was lent out.
January's figure is the lowest amount of mortgage lending since April 2012. But the CML said that sentiment was still positive and it expected matters to improve over the coming months.
The news will be seen as a setback, following recent figures from the Bank of England and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that the housing market was beginning to pick up.
However, January is traditionally a quiet month and the CML figures show that in each of the last three years, the first quarter has produced the smallest amount of mortgage lending.
The CML said it was worried that rising inflation would make it harder for people to afford to take out a new mortgage.
The CML has said that despite the figures, the outlook for the property market in 2013 is still positive.
CML market and data analyst Caroline Purdey said: "Housing sentiment remains positive, despite ongoing economic pressures. A worsening in the outlook for inflation presents a greater headwind, but we still expect the funding for lending scheme to lift activity over coming months.
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