The Times: Mortgage lending continues to "yo-yo"
Mon 12 Nov 2012
12 Nov 2012 12:42:10
The number of loans for home purchases rose by 13 per cent in the third quarter, but lending plunged by nearly 18 per cent from August to September, the latest data has revealed.
The figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders painted an uncertain picture of the state of the housing market as higher lending in July and August helped to offset Septembers low volumes.
There were 44,400 loans for house purchases in September, down from 53,900 in August and from 48,800 in September 2011. But, there was a 6.5 per cent increase in the number of remortgage loans compared to August, at 24,600.
First-time buyer loans fell by 14 per cent in September, but over the third quarter as a whole lending to this category of home buyer was 16 per cent higher.
Peter Rollings, the chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, the estate agent, said: It is fair to say lending yo-yoed in the last quarter, as the mortgage market came to terms with a post-Olympic flurry then a lull in buyer activity.
However, when seen in the round, the figures point to a steady quarterly improvement, and while lending is still a long way from the level needed to unblock the lower end of the housing market, there have been more recent indications that the Funding for Lending scheme is starting to take root.
Mr Rollings added: If lenders can ease their criteria, and direct these cheaper funds towards the lower echelons of the market, we should see a reduced dependency on wealthier buyers for healthier sales activity in the coming months.
Personal loan rates hit historic low
Personal loan rates have fallen to the lowest level for more than a decade, figures from the price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com have revealed.
Sainsburys has launched a market-leading rate of just 5.4 per cent while M&S Bank and Derbyshire Building Society haveboth cut their rates on loans of 7,500 to 15,000 to 5.5 per cent.
Sainsburys borrowers must have a Nectar card to qualify for this rate.
The average of the top 10 rates for loans over 7,500 has fallen to 5.9 per cent, according to the comparison site the lowest level since January 2006.
Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at Moneysupermarket.com, said that it is possible rates could fall even further.
He added: However, the best deals are generally only available to consumers with excellent credit histories. Before applying for a loan, or for any credit product, its a good idea to check your credit history so you have a clearer idea of the products you are more likely to be accepted for based on your credit score.