By Jonathan Davies

Mortgage approvals rose to a six-month high in February, according to the Bank of England.

The number of mortgages approved, but not yet loaned, rose to 61,760 in February, 1,000 more than in January.

The Bank of England said it was the highest figure since August and the third consecutive monthly rise. But they are still below the January 2014 peak of 75,453.

"Housing market weakness has bottomed out, and activity is now gradually turning around," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist with IHS Global Insight.

Because the figures relate to mortgages that have been approved, not completed house sales, they usually provide a good insight of the housing market in the coming months.