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Lending drops to lowest November total since 2000

Gross mortgage lending dropped to its lowest November total since 2000 last month, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Lending reached £11.1bn in November, which is a 5 per cent drop from the £11.6bn advanced in October and 10 per cent lower than the £12.3bn advanced in November 2009.

The latest figures mean it is the fifth consecutive month where gross mortgage lending has been at its weakest since the equivalent month in 2000.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell says: “The fall in gross mortgage lending in November reflects the usual seasonal slowing of activity at this time of year, and reinforces the picture of a continuing flat market.

“Comparisons with the year earlier are somewhat distorted, as some households brought forward house purchase activity into the closing months of 2009 to take advantage of the stamp duty concession. But both demand for mortgage borrowing and the supply of funds for lending remain heavily constrained.”

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “The November gross mortgage lending figure is understandably distorted against the same month last year but there is no distortion to explain away the weakest November for 10 years. That’s just a reflection of the weakened state the market is in.

“Demand is very weak at present for obvious reasons. People are worried about the economy, their jobs, their spending power, which is being eroded by rising inflation, and interest rate rises, which may come sooner than we would like if inflation rises further. This is a brutal winter for the mortgage market.”

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