CML reveals strongest December lending figures on record
However, this was 25 per cent stronger than the £21 billion achieved in December 2004 and is the strongest figure for December on record. The figures also show that gross lending in 2005 totalled £287.5 billion, down by only 1 per cent on the record £291.2 billion in 2004.
Lending usually declines towards the end of the year, but the fall in December was less than in previous years.
Commenting on the figures, CML director general, Michael Coogan, said: “The commentators who thought lending would fall sharply in 2005 based on the performance of the first half of the year were wrong. Confidence in the housing market was supported by the realisation that short-term interest rates had peaked and the downward trend in fixed-term rates throughout much of the year, resulting in stable house prices.
“The second half of 2005 was characterised by strengthening housing market activity and increased mortgage lending. We expect this trend to continue into 2006 as mortgage approvals continue to rise. Against this background, house prices should remain resilient in the coming months.”