Gross mortgage lending hit an estimated £17.6bn in October – the highest monthly total in five years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Lending was up 37 per cent on the £12.9bn advanced in October last year and has not reached £17.6bn since October 2008, when lenders advanced £18.6bn.
The amount advanced in October was also up 9 per cent on the £16.2bn advanced in September.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell says: “Housing activity is set to strengthen further in the short-term, and to contribute materially to overall economic growth.
“Combined with the Bank of England’s recent optimism about the economy, this has led some commentators to speculate that an early rate rise may be on the cards. We do not currently share this view.”
SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “We are coming to expect inexorable rises in mortgage lending and October’s figures do not disappoint.
“But let’s not get carried away. While this is the highest monthly estimate for gross lending since October 2008 at £18.6bn, it is still 5 per cent off that figure, so the recovery is still very much underway.”