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Flat February for housing

The mortgage market remained flat in February says the Council of Mortgage Lenders, but the proportion of lending for house purchases is down.

The proportion of new business coming from house purchases in February stood at 39 per cent and totalled 6.7bn – the lowest level since May 2003 and the second-lowest monthly figure on record. Remortgaging business stood at 8.5bn,making up 49 per cent of new lending business.

Total gross lending in February remained at 17.2bn, just down from the 17.3bn gross lending in January and 18 per cent down on February 2004.

The proportion of purchase loans to first-time buyers and movers remained the same as in January at 30 and 70 per cent respectively.

CML deputy director general Peter Williams says: “In the wake of last week’s Budget, despite the modest boost to home-owners in the form of the increased stamp-duty threshold, we are not revising our forecasts and continue to expect prices to rise by around 4 per cent this year.”

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