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The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has issues a confident outlook report for 2105 and says it expects mortgage lending to grow in the next two years but more slowly than this year. Gross and net lending of £240 billion and £38 billion respectively in 2016 would nevertheless represent the strongest performances since 2008 and it adds that a gentle upward trajectory for the mortgage market going forwards should calm macro-prudential concerns. ‘The proportion of cash financed transactions has shown signs of stabilising in 2014, and may decline gently as mortgage availability continues to improve. Prospects for economic growth, job creation and a pick-up in earnings are relatively positive, and these factors, along with the easing in interest rate expectations over recent months, should underpin housing market sentiment,’ the report explains. It also welcomes the form of stamp duty announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement and said that this will also benefit lending activity in the short term. However, it also points out that housing market activity has nudged lower since the summer but this is consistent with the long standing view that affordability considerations would limit the scope for transactions to return to longer-run norms. ‘We expect the pace of house purchase in 2015 and 2016 to be a little below this year’s level,’ it adds. When it comes to buy to let, the CML says lending in this sector should continue to make some headway, although this may be limited by uncertainties about the appetite to regulate it or the activities of landlords more generally. Some further improvement in mortgage arrears and possessions is possible in 2015, before a relatively modest reversal as interest rates increase gently through the second half of our forecasting period. Ales could fall. ‘Reflecting the uncertainties about wider economic developments and housing activity beyond the next few months, we think that transactions will ease back modestly in 2015 and thereafter broadly settle,’ the forecast points out. It also points out that cash based transactions have grown in importance to account for more than a third of market sales, with the reduced availability of mortgage credit following the credit crunch. The cash proportion of sales peaked at nearly 36% in 2013 and in 2014 as mortgage credit availability has improved, mortgage financed transactions have grown at more or less the same pace as cash transactions, and so the latter’s proportion has remained fairly steady. ‘Looking ahead, we anticipate that cash transactions will progressively edge back down nearer to a third of sales, and so to a limited degree allow for a softer decrease in the volume of mortgage financed sales than for the overall market,’ the report adds. With typical loan size echoing some further modest increases in house prices, the CML expects the value of lending for regulated house purchase to move a little higher to about £120 billion in 2015 compared with £115 billion in 2014. ‘We have pencilled… Continue reading →
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