We’ll have to wait and see for future growth
Peter Williams is executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association
Today’s Bank of England figures show a 5% monthly rise in the value of mortgage lending and an increase in the volume of approvals across the board. One reason will be the partial relaxation of borrowing criteria and wider availability of higher loan to value (LTV) deals as lenders adjust to the competition resulting from the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS).
Although the scheme has improved the availability of mortgage credit, we are concerned about the decision to focus its extension primarily on lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This may limit the benefits to the mortgage market as a whole – as will the restricted role of non-banks which continues to distort the competitive playing field and ultimately impact the options for consumers.
The figures released today show a welcome increase in activity. But given how conditions are changing, we will simply have to wait and see if this momentum is enough to sustain and encourage further growth.