UK mortgage lending falls back to similar level a year ago, latest data shows

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Gross mortgage lending in the UK reached £16.9 billion in November, some 9% lower than October when it was £18.6 billion, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It matches the £16.9 billion seen in November last year but shows that the last 12 months has been one of ups and downs for the UK mortgage market. ‘Current activity in the housing market has eased with transactions back down to levels seen almost a year ago,’ said CML economist Mohammad Jamei. ‘The reform in stamp duty is likely to provide a modest short term boost in activity over the next few months, but its impact will fade away in the medium term,’ he added. Reacting to the figures, Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, said that the contours of the UK housing market have shifted from the start of 2014, with property price rises softening into a more organic upward curve. ‘New configurations of affordability checks and pre-emptive measures in the mortgage market temporarily diverted the route of lending, but overall progress is healthy,’ he explained. He pointed out that mortgage products have never been more attractive. ‘With a plentiful choice of properties and now smaller up-front stamp duty costs, buyers are faced with a very favourable set of conditions,’ said Rollings. ‘This has a knock-on effect for sellers, as durable demand enables them to trade up, and this fluidity of movement at every level of the market will ensure buoyant activity and optimism spills over into the start of next year,’ he added. Continue reading →

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