Sluggish mortgage lending hopefully about to pick up

Fri, 24 Apr 2015

Sluggish mortgage lending hopefully about to pick up
Mortgage lending seems to have seen a slow start to 2015, but the Council of Mortgage Lenders is optimistic that the rate will now be picking up, after a boost over the last few weeks.

The gross mortgage lending, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) was down in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the previous three months.

There was a reduction of 12 per cent down to £44.9 billion. This was a 3 per cent drop on the same time period last year.

However, the CML have revealed that the lending rates in March were higher than February, indicating that this could be the beginning of a rise in lending.

If there is a stall in the housing market, it could have big effects. Home selling seems to have slowly gained momentum recently, with movements like the Help to Buy scheme aiding this along or hindering it, depending on who you ask. But more homes need to be built to house everyone, and a prolonged setback could cause problems for the lower rungs of the property ladder.

Hopefully, the fact that March saw more lending than February is an indication that this is not going to happen.

"The underlying lending picture is stabilising," said the chief economist of the CML, Bob Pannell.

"Sentiment and activity are showing early signs of improvement, and should be further supported by the effects of stamp duty reform. We expect to see lending strengthen over the next few months, albeit from a relatively sluggish start in 2015."
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