Gross Mortgage lending up 9pc
The CML estimates that gross lending reached £11.6bn in March which is higher than February’s gross lending figure of £10.6bn but 8% lower than £12.6bn in March 2012.
Gross lending for the first quarter of 2013 was estimated at £33.8bn. This represents a 9% drop from the last three months of 2012 but matches the gross mortgage lending total for the first quarter of 2012.
Bob Pannell, CML chief economist, said: “Conditions in the housing and mortgage markets continue to show signs of improving.
“The improvement in funding markets over the past year reinforced by the incremental benefits of the Funding for Lending Scheme has been the key catalyst behind stronger housing activity.”
Pannell added that he believes the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme has the potential to increase activity from 2014.
Ben Thompson, managing director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Today’s figures illustrate a hardening of demand and the increase in lending is in large part due to the benefits brought by the FLS.
“Data from our latest Mortgage Mood Survey showed that about 70% of UK homeowners feel the current value of their property is ‘about right’ and this rational attitude is also stimulating market activity.
“As a result we are seeing a marked increase in FTB activity which should only continue to gather pace in the coming months.”