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CML: Lending up 36pc

Nia Williams

May 21, 2014

The figure, which is the highest recorded for an April since 2008, is up 8% from March.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The fact that mortgage lending in April was at its highest level in six years should be taken as a positive given the severe slump in the intervening years.

“Average lending figures are significantly higher than this time last year, although we’re likely to see this trend scaled back in the months ahead.

“MMR certainly had a cooling effect on application volumes during April and this may impact the extent of gross lending in the next few months.

“Talk of action from the Bank of England is gathering pace, but having taken matters into its own hands it is encouraging that Lloyds Banking Group is still willing to lend at higher loan to values provided its tightened criteria are met.”

Bob Pannell, CML chief economist, said the figures were difficult to analyse.

He said: “The implementation of the Mortgage Market Review from late April has made it a little harder to interpret recent data.

“As we have pointed out previously, there may be some disruption to the monthly pattern of activity while MMR procedures bed down.

“The Bank of England has signalled that macro-prudential measures to limit the housing market upturn are likely in the near future, and possibly in the very near future.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal and General Mortgage Club, also accepted that the market will fluctuate monthly, although he agreed that lending has been increasing.

He said: “Lending for mortgages is undoubtedly on the rise. Our own figures echo those from the CML, with an increase of 70% on the same period last year.

“The demand for mortgages is being driven by the wider economic recovery as well as confidence returning to the housing market.

“This trend is likely to continue in the short-medium term, although it will inevitably be subject to monthly fluctuations.

“A significant portion of the opportunity we see in the coming months should be driven by remortgages as the low interest rates available at the moment won’t be around for much longer.”

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said the market still has a long way to go to return to normality however.

He said: “For ownership levels to return to any form of pre-crisis normality, then the number of households buying a home still needs to grow for many more years.

“To make that reality, we need to build millions more properties, starting right now.”

And Duncan Kreeger, director of West One Loans, added: “Increasing the supply of new homes to match demand means boosting property development.

“Traditional mortgage lending is great at helping people move in to a new home – but not so great at building that home in the first place. When old-school mortgage lending picks up, so do prices.”


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