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£3bn remortgaging boom defies forecast slowdown

Mortgage lending rose strongly in June to £11.5bn from £10.1bn in May, despite predictions that it would level off, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML says high levels of remortgaging are driving the upturn, with £3.3bn worth of business written in June.

It says this is the highest level since collection of monthly figures began in June 1998.

Director general Michael Coogan says: “In line with other indicators which suggest the housing market is cooling, the CML believes lending for house purchase may now have reached a plateau and expects more modest increases in lending in coming months.”

The CML says average mortgage rates fell in June to 6 from 6.6 per cent as lenders such as HSBC slashed their rates.

Figures from the Building Societies Association show building society gross advances increased to £2.2bn in June from £2bn in May. Approvals rose to £2.5bn from £2.3bn.

Chairman David Anderson says: “Lending figures show building societies gaining a steady increase in this area over the last two months, reflecting a housing market which is beginning to find its level.”

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