Ashby Times: Mortgage lending falls to similar levels as last November
Fri 09 Jan 2015
Gross mortage lending in the UK reached 16.9 billion in November, some 9 per cent 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 econommist 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 terms," 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 mortage 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.
David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, pointed out that house prices have cooled, and in some regions, property values have stalled. "But historically the biggest advances are usually made in the first half of the year, so this tempering of conditions is at least in part just a natural twist in the market cycle. Below the surface, a persistent flow of lending is still coursing through the market, and volumes are holding fast on last year," he added.
"First time buyers have been ploughing forward this year, in the slipstream of the Help to Buy scheme and high LTV lending. But now aspiring home owners have to navigate loan to income caps and a stricker mortgage terrain. However, stamp duty reforms may reinvigorate demand at the bottom rungs of the market, and clear the way for a new drift of activity," he added.