Mortgage lending up for 7th straight month
Year-on-year mortgage lending increased for the seventh month in a row, according to new figures.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimated that gross lending for February was £10.7 billion, up slightly on January’s figure of £10.65 billion, but 14 per cent more than last February, when lending totalled £9.4 billion.
It marks the seventh consecutive month that lending has gone up when judged against the previous year.
Bob Pannell, chief economist at the CML, said: ‘Although a seasonal decline is expected over the winter months, our forward estimates suggest that February was the seventh month in a row of higher year-on-year lending. This indicates that lending for house purchase remains brisk in advance of the ending of the stamp duty concession.
‘The launch of the Newbuy scheme is an important addition to lenders’ toolkit in addressing the various needs of would-be borrowers. The scheme has the potential to offset the dip in first-time buyer activity that the end of the stamp duty concession on 24 March may produce.’
The government launched the Newbuy initiative last week. It will allow buyers of new-build homes to access 95 per cent mortgages by creating an indemnity fund into which house builders would put 3.5 per cent and the government 5.5 per cent of the price of a home.
It is hoped that the scheme will encourage 100,000 home buyers who would otherwise struggle to finance mortgages.