Brokers positive on Q1 mortgage lending despite 8% fall in January

Mortgage experts say they are undeterred by the 8 per cent fall in gross mortgage lending in January and forecast a considerable rebound in the coming months.

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Figures from the British Bankers’ Association, published this week, show gross mortgage lending dropped 8 per cent in January to £7.7bn, down from £8.4bn in December. Year on year, this represents a 5 per cent fall from £8.1bn in January 2012.

Industry experts attribute this downturn in part to cyclical market pressures and say the results have done nothing to suggest the first quarter of 2013 will not prove considerably more successful.

Start Mortgages financial services manager Tom Cleary says: “These latest results are cyclical. As the first quarter builds, so does the market momentum with strong instruction levels feeding through and I predict a big uplift in February.

“As far as the Funding for Lending scheme goes, there was £4.4bn drawn down in the final quarter of 2012 and I think it could rise to £6bn in the first quarter of this year. All I see from lenders is greater appetite and the FLS is definitely fuelling that.”

The Society of Mortgage Professionals chief executive Richard Fox says: “I think January’s results are more to do with the weather. The market is currently turning a corner and from February and March onwards I think we are going to see an upturn in business.”