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Mortgage lending holds steady in September – CML

by: Emma Lunn
  • 20/10/2014
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Mortgage lending holds steady in September – CML
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimated that gross mortgage lending reached £17.8bn in September, 1% lower than August's figures.

In August gross mortgage lending stood at £18bn. But year-on-year lending is 10% higher than September 2013, at £16.2bn.

Gross mortgage lending for the third quarter of this year was estimated at £55.5bn. This represented an 8% increase from the second quarter of this year and a 13% increase on the third quarter of 2013 (£49.2bn).

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: “Uncertainty over when we will see the first increase in UK base rates is exacerbated by weaker growth prospects in several major economies, including the Eurozone.

“Recent indicators and policy actions corroborate our view of a gentle easing in market conditions. There is growing evidence that mortgage lending activity, and the housing market, are sitting on a plateau.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Gross mortgage lending dipped in September compared with August indicating that buyers may have concerns about the prospect of an interest rate rise. There is also a sense that economic recovery in Europe is fragile at best, which does nothing for consumer confidence when it comes to committing to something as costly as a property purchase.

Harris said swap rates had fallen since September and this, combined with plummeting inflation, meant it was unlikely that interest rates would rise ahead of the general election.

“Lenders who are behind target for the year as a result of the delays caused by the mortgage market review are cutting their fixed rates in order to catch up before the end of December and we expect this to continue as they look to develop a strong pipeline for next year,” he added.

“Accord has cut its five-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.59% and it is possible that we might yet see a five-year fix at under 2%, which would be phenomenal.”

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