SPANISH home mortgage lending dropped 31 percent year-on-year in October, the National Statistics Institute said yesterday, as banks continued to restrict credit.

October mortgage lending totalled 5.97 billion euros, while the average value of total mortgages approved during the month was 29 percent lower than a year earlier. Spain's housing market, which fuelled a decade of robust economic growth, has gone into a deep freeze as banks tighten lending.

The rate of mortgage lending decline hit a record 56.2 percent drop in April.