Gross lending static at £16.6bn, says CML

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ latest figures show gross mortgage lending was static in August at £16.6bn, down fractionally from July’s £16.7bn.

But year-on-year the monthly tally is 28 per cent higher than the £13bn in lending in August last year.

The trade body’s chief economist Bob Parnell says one sign that the UK’s housing market is recovering is the re-emergence of concerns about a housing boom.

But he says the housing market recovery to date appears ”fairly unexceptional in nature” when compared with the early to mid 1990s.

He says: ”We are beginning to experience a healthy and broad-based recovery in mortgage lending activity.

“We attribute much of this turnaround to the improvement in funding markets generally, and also to the Funding for Lending Scheme.

”The Bank of England’s approvals data suggests that the positive tone for house purchase and remortgage lending will continue.”

Edinburgh Mortgage Advice director Mark Dyason says that while August was similar to July it should not be taken a lack of momentum, with the average mortgage broker exceptionally busy and demand rampant.

He says: ”The mortgage market is much improved relative to a year ago — the 28 per cent increase compared to last August drives that home — but volumes are still not at normal historical levels. There is a lot of headroom yet.”

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s executive director Peter Williams says that with gross lending for August £3.5bn above last year’s figure, the mortgage market is “clearly fulfilling its side of the bargain ”in supporting the recovering economy. 

He says: ”IMLA’s latest market research found both lenders and brokers have higher expectations for market performance in 2013 following a busy first half of the year. Many lenders will be engaged to a race to the finish to meet their target volumes.

”But with the Mortgage Market Review implementation looming, they will be careful not to overstretch the mark: long-term affordability remains just as important as short-term access to mortgage loans.”