Mortgage approvals in Britain slumped in December to levels seen during the global financial crisis, Bank of England data showed on Tuesday in a further indication that the housing market is slowing much faster than the consensus predicted.

The BoE said 35,612 mortgages were approved last month, compared with 46,186 in November.

Excluding the COVID-19 pandemic when lockdowns brought the housing market to a standstill, it was the lowest reading since January 2009, when Britain was mired in recession.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to approvals of around 45,000 in December.

Other gauges of the housing market, such as the closely watched Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report, point to a sharper decline in house prices and activity than predicted by the consensus of economists.

Tuesday's figures also showed lending to consumers increased in net terms by 493 million pounds ($607 million), much less than the 1.05 billion pounds forecast. ($1 = 0.8120 pounds) (Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Milliken)