Access to mortgage credit in the United States tightened in the first quarter of 2015, marking a pause in easy accessibility for buyers.
It had been getting progressively easier to obtain a mortgage since 2012, but the first several months of this year marked a change, according to according to the latest Zillow Mortgage Access Index (ZMAI).
UK interest rates are kept unchanged again by the Bank of England, meaning they have now been at their record low of 0.5% for six years.
UK property sales fell in January, dropping by 6% compared with a year ago, but estate agents' views vary on the significance of the decrease.
Transactions totalled 97,320 in January, according to the latest seasonally-adjusted figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The number of homes repossessed by lenders last year fell to their lowest level since 2006.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says repossessions fell by 26% to just 21,000, with mortgage arrears also falling to an eight-year low.
The improvement was attributed to the rising levels of employment and continuing low interest rates.
The Bank of England's doomsday economic scenario has left three of Britain's major banks under some stress.
But only one, Co-op, has actually failed the test of what would happen if there were an economic crisis in the UK.
The bank, which faced its own crisis in 2012 when its efforts to buy 600 Lloyds Bank branches collapsed, has been told to cut its balance sheet by selling assets.
For Lloyds and RBS the results of the stress tests were tough but not as gloomy.
A premature interest rate rise could present a "huge risk" to the British economy, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned.
The business lobby group said the UK's dependence on consumer spending and mortgages meant it was "particularly sensitive" to interest rates.
The warning came as the BCC trimmed its growth forecast for 2014 to 3% from 3.2% and for 2015 to 2.6% from 2.8%.
The Bank of England has warned half a million families would be at risk of falling into mortgage arrears once it started to raise interest rates from their emergency level of 0.5%.
Threadneedle Street said the number of households running into difficulties would increase by a third to 480,000 in the event of a two-percentage-point increase in the cost of borrowing.
The majority of people with mortgages could cope with a rise in interest rates, the Bank of England has said.
Just 4% of mortgage holders would need to take action if interest rates rose to 2.5% from their current 0.5% historic low, according to the Bank's annual survey of household finances.
Northern Ireland's Attorney General has accused Bank of Scotland of "criminal fraud".
John Larkin QC made the comments in relation to the bank's treatment of some customers who fell behind on their mortgages.
The number of mortgages being granted by Britain's banks has fallen by 16% over the last year - the latest sign of a slowdown in the housing market.
According to the banking industry body the BBA, in October home-buyers had 37,076 mortgages approved - the lowest figure for 17 months.
The value of those mortgages fell 13% over the year to just over £6bn.
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