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Mortgage lending at 10-year low

Gross mortgage lending fell by 14 per cent to £11.4bn in August, from £13.3bn in July, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The August total is 6 per cent down from the £12.1bn in the same month last year and is the lowest August total since 2000, when gross mortgage lending was £11.1bn.

The CML says lending volumes are likely to remain below last year’s level in the coming months as activity in the final months of 2009 was buoyed by the approaching end of the stamp duty holiday.

Chief economist Bob Pannell says: “We face a difficult second half of the year. However, the Bank of England is likely to keep interest rates at record lows for longer to support the economy, alleviating payment pressures for many borrowers.”

Precise Mortgages managing director Alan Cleary says: “This is bad news for the industry. We have gone back 10 years in terms of volume even though in 2000 the average price of a property was about half of what it is today.”

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