UK mortgage approvals dropped in January by more than economists forecast to an eight-month low, adding to evidence that the housing-market recovery may be losing momentum. Bank of England policy maker Kate Barker said last week the property market may face “adjustments” as banks curb lending, and Hometrack Ltd. said today that price gains observed last month don’t have solid foundations. The longest cold snap in three decades, an increase in transaction tax and the looming election may also have damped activity, economists said. “We could be seeing a cool-off later this year,” James Knightley, an economist at ING Financial Markets in London, said in a telephone interview. “With election uncertainty intensifying, it could lead people to put off big purchases. There are still issues about credit availability and public- sector spending cuts.”