Over £4 in every £10 of outstanding mortgage debt in London & South East

London and the South East account for over two-fifths of all outstanding UK residential mortgage debt, according to new data published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The findings are part of new postcode-based lending data, published for the first time by the CML in collaboration with seven major mortgage lenders.

Results show that 44 per cent of outstanding mortgage loans lie in the capital and the South East, despite the area accounting for just 26 per cent of the UK population.

The value of outstanding residential mortgages in London is currently £227bn, while the South East region has £161bn in loans outstanding. Combined, the two areas account for £388bn of the total £891bn in residential mortgages outstanding in the UK.

The North East region has the lowest current value of outstanding mortgages with £25bn – marginally less than the total value in Wales of £28bn.

Excluding London and the South East, the area with the highest outstanding residential mortgage debt is the North West at £80bn.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Santander UK and Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank have all released individual aggregate mortgage data for lending across 9,030 postcode sectors in Great Britain.

Council of Mortgage Lenders director general Paul Smee says: “As you would expect, strong levels of mortgage lending are broadly correlated with those areas where there is a strong resident population.

“While the dataset covers only three quarters of the mortgage lending market, it certainly shows that there are reassuringly few surprises in the postcode distribution of mortgage lending.”

Knight Frank head of finance Simon Gammon says: “It may be an unpalatable reality, and probably going to be exposed to further political pressure, but the new stats show that banks have been doing more lending the South East of England than any other area.

“While this may not seem fair, it must be recognised that we all need banks to lend carefully these days and whether we like it or not, the London market especially has recovered better than any other in the last few years, and therefore is a more liquid property than any other area. As a result, when banks look at the safest areas to lend geographically, almost all will conclude the South East to be the safest.”

Outstanding mortgage debt by region
Region Value of loans outstanding (£)
East Midlands £44.5bn
East of England £60.3bn
London £227.3bn
North East £25.9bn
North West £80.9bn
Scotland £63.8bn
South East £161.4bn
South West £79.3bn
Wales £28.5bn
West Midlands £61.6bn
Yorkshire & the Humber £57.8bn
GB £891.4bn