CML reports record lending figures for January

Amanda Jarvis

February 20, 2006

Gross mortgage lending totalled £23 billion in January, down by 14 per cent on December’s £26.9 billion, but nearly a third higher than the £17.4 billion lent in January 2005.

Lending typically weakens around the start of a new year because house-buying activity slows down between the autumn and spring. But January’s figure is still strong because house-buying has remained robust reflecting consumer confidence in the market and the expectation that interest rates will remain stable.

Michael Coogan, CML director general, said: “Mortgage lending in all categories has been strong in recent months. This reflects the fact that consumers are feeling more certain about the future of the housing market and confident that house prices are unlikely to fall.

“The interest rate outlook for the near future is for stable rates. Our recent figures show that the majority of new borrowers are taking out fixed-rate loans to provide payment certainty at affordable cost. The mortgage market looks set for continued steady growth against a backdrop of pretty positive economic conditions.”

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