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Lending slows but still well up on last year

Mortgage lending is slowing from the unparalleled levels of the summer but still remains well up on last year&#39s totals, according to latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML says gross len-ding in September totalled £19.7bn compared with £20.7bn in August and £13.7bn last September.

Of the £19.7bn, £10.6bn represented loans for house purchase, £7.6bn was for remortgaging and the remaining £1.5bn was for home improvements and other purposes.

Building society gross advances reached £3.04bn during September, according to the Building Societies Association. This was down from £3.4bn in August but significantly higher than the £1.92bn in Sept-ember 2001.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Lending in September was marginally lower than the record levels in July and August. But it is too early to say whether this marks the turning point to a slower lending market.

“The evidence so far points to the likelihood of a gentle easing next year rather than a dramatic slowdown but we would still encourage borrowers to exercise caution before committing themselves to increased levels of debt.”

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Lending in September showed the strong competitive position currently enjoyed by societies. The pipeline of future lending is almost 40 per cent higher than a year ago, showing the building society position is likely to remain strong.”

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