UK mortgage lending hits highest October level since 2008

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Gross mortgage lending in the UK reached £19 billion in October, some 5% higher than September and 8% higher than October last year, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This is the highest lending total for an October since 2008 when it was £18.6 billion and CML economist Mohammad Jamei said that the market is in a steadier state than it was earlier in the year. ‘As the temporary impact of implementing the mortgage market review fades, a clearer picture of the mortgage and housing market is emerging. Nearly all indicators in the housing market align with our view of a gentle easing in market conditions,’ he explained. ‘While the housing market has cooled in recent months, mortgage lending continues to be underpinned by positive factors. With expectations of the first interest rate rise moving to the fourth quarter of next year, as well as positive forecasts for growth, pay and unemployment, there is potential for market activity to gain traction in the new year,’ he added. ‘These new figures show that lending is alive and well and breaking records despite stricter borrowing criteria, according to Paul Smith, chief executive officer at haart. ‘Lenders are keen to grow market share so first time buyers and ladder steppers alike are currently benefiting from a new range of excellent mortgage deals. Pre-election calm has descended on the market but savvy buyers and sellers will run with the window of opportunity that this creates,’ he said. Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, believe that there is a renewed spring in the step of mortgage lending this October. He pointed out that the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review and stricter affordability regulations in April have not clouded the overall progress that has been made over the past year. ‘With an interest rate rise not expected before late next year, spurring on a host of attractive mortgage products, buyers and sellers still have a lot to be feeling confident about,’ he explained. ‘Calmer trading conditions, more choice on the market, and less fierce competition will ensure activity finishes on a strong note at the end of the year,’ added Rollings. Continue reading →

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