CML announces record February lending

Amanda Jarvis

March 20, 2006

Gross mortgage lending totalled £21.8 billion in February, a record for the month, was down by 5 per cent on January’s £23 billion of lending, but is 22 per cent higher than the £17.9 lent in February 2005.

February is typically the weakest month of the year for mortgage lending because of the slow-down in house-buying between the autumn and spring. However, house-buying activity has remained strong in recent months demonstrating consumer confidence in the housing market.

Michael Coogan, CML director-general, said: “Today’s gross mortgage lending figure is the fourth record in consecutive months. Confidence in the housing market is strong and demand has returned to the levels we witnessed two years ago. Areas which saw sluggish activity over the past couple of years such as London and the South East are now seeing a clear strengthening in house prices.

“House-buying activity and mortgage lending looks set to remain well supported over the coming year. The economy is in good shape and interest rates look stable. But, the latest mortgage approval figures suggest the upward trend in activity might be drawing to an end. If that does happen, it would be in line with our forecasts of some moderation in activity through the year.”

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