Essex County Standard: Mortgage lending at 7-year high
Fri 27 Nov 2015
GROSS mortgage lending in the UK reached f21.8billion in October, some eight per cent higher than the previous month, according to the latest estimates from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Lending rose 19 per cent year on year, from f18.4billion in October 2014, the highest monthly figure since gross lending reached f23.6billion in July 2008. "As lending in the regulated mortgage space picked up over the summer, the pace of recovery has improved. This looks set to continue over the closing months of the year with the factors helping support this recovery continuing to be low inflation, strong wage growth, an improving labour market and competitive mortgage deals," said Bob Pannell, CML chief economist. "As a result, lending this year is likely to exceed our forecast of f209billion," he added. According to Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of KarsbA Parsons, lending levels are at an impressive seven year high. "We're yet to clear the pre-crisis July 2008 benchmark, but over the summer the mortgage market has really taken it up a notch, and month on month improvements are getting more cheerful as we approach the festive season," he said. Demand is being driven by continued interest from prospective house buyers and a surge in the remortgage market, and this is being matched by the availability of finance, according to Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS. "Eyes are now turning towards end of year targets, fuelling interest rate competition between lenders, further stimulating borrower demand. " With interest rate hikes now unlikely until the first half of 2016 at the earliest, the cost of servicing a mortgage is not going to soar any time soon," he said.