Mortgage lending set new records in July as gross lending totalled £21.8bn, an increase of 41% compared with last year, according to CML figures. These levels follows a quiet June, interrupted by both the Jubilee and the World Cup. The number of loans in July reached another record at 147,000. Four out of five borrowers opted for variable rate loans, the highest proportion since the mid-1990s. The CML put this down to fears of interest rate rises receding. The average first-time buyer borrowed £83,406, representing 75% of the value of the property, or 2.57 times income.