January gross mortgage lending up 33% year-on-year

By Bridging Loan Directory -


Prime LondonGross mortgage lending was an estimated £15.5 billion in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This is down 8% compared to the gross lending total of December 2013; however, it is a third higher than January 2013 (£11.6 billion).

Commenting on market conditions in this month’s Market Commentary, CML chief economist Bob Pannell observes:

“Housing market indicators in the UK continue to be positive, although seasonal factors are likely to have affected activity levels. Monthly approvals for house purchase averaged 70,000 in the final quarter of 2013, the strongest for six years.

“The Bank of England envisages that approvals may climb to 90,000 a month in the second and third quarters of 2014. This would seem to imply property transactions running at an annualised rate of one and a half million or so. We think this may be over-optimistic given the growing anecdotal reports of a shortage of prospective sellers.”

Ashley Brown, managing director, independent mortgage brokers Moneysprite, comments:

“What a difference a year makes.

First time buyers are back with a vengeance and lenders are interested in higher LTV customers again.

You can feel more confidence amongst buyers.

The market has opened up to buyers with small deposits, thanks in no small part to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

“And with more competition amongst lenders for customers across the board, this should hopefully mean that mortgage rates will remain low for a while.

The question of course will be, what will happen when Help to Buy comes to an end.

And we can’t ignore the problem surrounding low property stock levels which is creating a bottleneck of frustrated buyers.

There is still a severe lack of new properties coming onto the market, especially in London, and many buyers who are in a position to purchase, have little option than to sit on their hands and wait patiently.”