Net lending in 2009 fell to £11.5bn, its lowest level for 22 years.
According to the Council of Mort-gage Lenders, latest lending figures from the Bank of England put annual net lending at its lowest level since records began in 1987.
Gross lending hit £143.5bn in 2009 while gross lending for December totalled £13.4bn.
Paul Samter, economist at the CML, says: “It should come as no surprise if January and February this year are particularly slow if we are correct in our view that many buyers rushed to beat the Stamp Duty deadline in December.”
Mortgage approvals in December fell slightly to 59,023 from 60,045 the previous month. The average number of monthly mortgage approvals for the past six months stands at 55,004.
Remortgage approvals rose in December to 27,276 from 25,619 in November but remain below the previous six-month average of 28,417.
Total net lending to individuals rose by £1.2bn in December while total net lending secured on dwellings increased by £1.2bn.
Building societies repor-ted a negative net lending figure of – £283m for last year, a massive fall from the £273m figure recorded in 2008.
Gross lending by societies rose by 15% in December. But for the year as a whole gross lending fell to half the 2008 level, going from £37.5bn in 2008 to £18.6bn in 2009. Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the Building Societies Asso-ciation, says: “Total gross lending in 2009 was only half that in 2008 and is likely to remain low until funding improves.”