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Rush to beat duty rise boosts homeloans

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says borrowers rushed to buy property in December to make the most of the last month of the higher stamp duty threshold.

Bank of England data shows gross mortgage lending totalled £13.4bn in December against £12.2bn in November. The CML says these figures indicate a rush to secure homeloans before the stamp duty threshold dropped from £175,000 to £125,000 on December 31.

Economist Paul Samter says the figures confirm there may have been a “bunching” of house purchase transactions in December. As a result, he says, the first mortgage lending figures of 2010 may be disappointing in comparison.

The BoE says total net lending to individuals rose by £1.2bn in December, mirroring the total net increase in November of £1.2bn. The number of loan approvals for house purchase of 59,023 was lower than the November figure of 60,045.

The number of approvals for remortgaging was higher than in November at 27,276 compared with 25,619 but it still remains below the previous six-month average of 28,417.

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