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Lending reaches unprecedented levels

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  • 10/08/2001
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The amount of mortgage lending in the UK reached unprecedented heights in April with the greatest le...

The amount of mortgage lending in the UK reached unprecedented heights in April with the greatest levels since monthly records began in June 1998, according to the latest figures from the CML/DETR survey of mortgage lenders.

Total gross mortgage lending increased from £12.2bn in March to £12.6bn, which was £3.4bn higher than April last year.

Lending for house purchase rose to £8bn, up 5.3% on the previous month and up 27% from the same time last year, although remortgaging fell from £3.9bn in March to £3.8bn.

Bob Pannell, head of research and analysis at the CML, said: ‘Reductions in interest rates have come at the right time to stimulate the normal spring upturn in the housing market. Our initial estimates suggest lending for house purchase in April was more than a fifth higher than a month ago. This is consistent with the recent recovery in mortgage approvals data and represents a significant turnaround from the subdued conditions experienced since the middle of last year.’

New mortgage lending by the British Bankers Association (BBA) stood at £7.8bn in April, an increase of 2% from the previous month. The BBA also reported 177,000 new mortgage loans approved in April, totalling over £10bn for the month.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) saw gross advances fall from just under £2bn in April, a significant decrease from March’s figure of £2.5bn. However, Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, said: ‘These are a particularly impressive set of figures given the current debate about building societies’ pricing strategies. Approvals are up 12% with actual lending up nearly 8% compared to last April’s figures.’

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