The January downturn in the United Kingdom property market has been underlined by the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Mortgages agreed with house buyers fell by 49% from December, after buyers rushed to beat the reintroduction of the old stamp duty thresholds. There were just 32,000 loans approved for house buyers in January. The number of loans for first-time buyers fell by 54% in January to 11,300. CML director general Michael Coogan said it had been a quiet start to the year. "Lending volumes in January were low, but we had predicted this would happen due to the end of the stamp duty holiday distorting December's figures," he said.