Mortgage lending amounted to £219bn last year, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), with remortgages accounting for 38% or £83.6bn of the total. December lending amounted to £19.5bn and showed no signs of a seasonal slowdown, prompting the CML to forecast figures remaining strong into the spring.
Allaying fears of a crash, the CML said affordability remained positive with first-time buyers averaging deposits of 20%. For those moving home, deposits were up, around the 33% mark. First-time borrowers took an average of just under 2.6 times their incomes, again offsetting affordability worries, while the figure dropped to just under 2.4 times for movers. In the building society sector, gross advances totalled £35.4m in 2002, up from £25.9m in 2001.