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CML reports record December gross lending

Gross lending hit a new December record of 29.4bn, reveals the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

This was down by 11% on the all-time record of 33.1bn reached in November, but up by 8% on the 27bn of lending in December last year.

Today’s data also reveals that a record 346bn was lent in 2006 as a whole, a 20% increase from 2005.

The record figure was fuelled by annual house price growth of around 7% coupled with a 14% increase in the number of house sales.

Michael Coogan, director general of the CML, says: “The commentators who thought the housing market would crash in 2006 were wrong.

Last year the market proved itself to be in robust shape and we expect it to remain so during 2007.

“Going forward, many of the key drivers of the market remain positive.

The economy is healthy, demand for housing is strong, and house prices continue to rise.

As a result, mortgage lending this year is expected to be even higher than in 2006.”

However, he warns: “The recent increases in interest rates might make many aspiring home-owners think twice about getting on to the property ladder, and we expect to see levels of activity dampen as the year progresses.”

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