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Gross mortgage lending static at £16.6bn in August

Council of Mortgage Lenders says housing market recovery is “fairly unexceptional” compared with lending levels in the 1990s.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ latest figures show gross mortgage lending was nearly static in August at £16.6bn, down fractionally from July’s £16.7bn.

But on an annual basis gross lending is 28 per cent higher than the £13bn lent in August last year.

CML chief economist Bob Parnell says one sign the UK’s housing market is recovering is the re-emergence of concerns about a housing boom.

But he says the housing market recovery to date appears “fairly unexceptional in nature” when compared with the early to mid-1990s.

He says: “We are beginning to experience a healthy and broad-based recovery in mortgage lending activity. We attribute much of this turnaround to the improvement in funding markets generally, and also to the Funding for Lending Scheme.

“The Bank of England’s approvals data suggests the positive tone for house purchase and remortgage lending will continue.”

Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association executive director Peter Williams says: “Many lenders will be engaged in a race to the finish to meet their target lending volumes for this year but with the Mortgage Market Review looming, they will be careful not to overstretch the mark. Long-term affordability remains just as important as short-term access to mortgage loans.”

Edinburgh Mortgage Advice director Mark Dyason says: “The mortgage market is much improved relative to a year ago, and the 28 per cent increase compared to last August drives that home. But volumes are still not at normal historical levels. There is a lot of headroom yet.” 

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