September slowdown reflects market uncertainty
The Council of Mortgage Lenders concluded that gross mortgage lending slowed to £17.8bn in September compared to £18bn in August.
Haresnape said: “It is interesting that August, traditionally one of the quietest times of the year for the housing market, has seen higher volumes of mortgage lending than September.
“There is increasing uncertainty in wider markets and this may be making people rethink their plans.
“Closer to home, political uncertainty over the Scotland referendum and next year’s general election may also have had an impact.”
The CML felt that house price growth in London in particular is running out of steam, yet it still predicted ‘fairly modest recoveries’ outside the capital and the South East.
Haresnape added: “The large deposits required of homebuyers also has a stifling effect on the housing market.
“However, recent commentary from the Bank of England suggests base rates may not rise until the middle of next year.
“This should provide some certainty for borrowers which could boost gross mortgage lending levels to the end of the year, though I suspect they are more likely to remain level.”