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August boost for housebuying

House purchase loans inc-reased by 17 per cent in August to £11.2bn from £9.5bn in July, accounting for 67 per cent of all mortgages sold, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mort-gage Lenders.

Remortgaging loans drop-ped to £4.3bn from £4.8bn in July, a 5 per cent fall from 31 to 26 per cent of the total mortgages arranged.

The total figure for mortgages arranged rose to £16.7bn from £15.4bn in July and up from £11bn over the same month last year.

Of that total figure, £2.3bn came through building societies compared with £2.1bn in July, according to Building Societies&#39 Association figures.

The popularity of fixed-rate products improved in August, with 81,000 loans making up 39 per cent of the total 206,000 loans sold. This is a sharp increase from July when 64,000 or 34 per cent of the 188,000 mortgages were sold on a fixed rate.

Of the 139,000 loans for house purchase, first-time buyers accounted for 42 per cent or 58,380.

Former occupiers made up the remaining 58 per cent or 80,620. In the savings market, societies attracted £543m of new money in August compared with £313m in July.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Lending once again hit a new monthly record in August. Remortgaging appeared to fall back a little although economic uncertainty may well stoke up the remortgage market further as people seek to take advantage of low fixed rates and other special deals in the wake of the latest rate cut.”

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