UK home lending weaker than a year ago, latest data shows

Taylor Scott International News

Lending for homes in the UK in April was weaker compared to a year ago but remained steady month on month, according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. verall gross lending in April was £15.8 billion, down from £16.1 billion in March and £16.8 billion in April last year. First time buyers saw a decline in lending compared to March and April last year although loan sizes for this sector have increased since a year ago. The CML says that competitive mortgage rates mean first time buyers are paying less to service their mortgage than any time since it began tracking this in 2005. Home mover lending volumes went up slightly month on month but there was a decline compared to April last year. The average home mover loan size decreased in April compared to March, but increased compared to the same period last year. Home owner remortgage activity also declined compared to last year and on a month to month basis. It has remained relatively subdued since around 2009. Lending for buy to let in April saw a decline compared to March, but there was substantial growth compared to levels in April last year. The CML says this was largely due to the increased levels of remortgage activity in the buy to let sector seen since the beginning of the year. The composition of lending for buy to let is different compared to that of home owner lending. While over the past year about 30% of lending to home owners was for remortgage, in the buy to let market 52% of lending was for remortgage. ‘House purchase lending in April was relatively subdued compared to last year, but similar to activity in March,’ said Paul Smee, director general of the CML, ‘The economy is recovering, with employment up, earnings growing, and competitive mortgage rates, so we expect activity to continue building as the year progresses. Buy to let is showing stronger growth than home-owner lending, buoyed significantly by remortgaging, which continues to remain more subdued in the home owner market,’ he added. Continue reading →

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