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Gross mortgage lending sees record March, says CML

Gross mortgage lending has reached a March record of £31.3bn according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML says it was a leap of 22 per cent from February’s lending figure of £25.5bn and is 10 per cent higher than the £28.3bn of lending reached in March last year.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “This is the highest-ever March lending figure. It is clear that many borrowers are taking sensible steps to shelter against higher mortgage costs.

“There is still a question mark over just how strong mortgage lending will be over the coming months as the prospect of higher interest rates takes its toll on demand. But, we continue to expect mortgage lending to reach a record £360bn this year.”

Propertyfinder.com director Nicholas Leeming says: “These figures merely show the normal spring peak – nothing out of line with the last few years. One factor that may be muddying the waters this year though, is that borrowers have been rushing to the bank to beat higher interest rates that are certain to come.

“This month many lenders have swiftly withdrawn their cheapest fixed rates, and with higher base rates just around the corner, we can expect the rush to slow and the market to cool.

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