Gross monthly mortgage lending for November was up 23% to £19.9 billion compared with November 2015 according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The CML also report that gross mortgage lending has dipped 9% from October 2015 as the market slows down for winter.
CML economist, Mohammad Jamei, said: “Lending is set to finish the year stronger than it started, with the pace of lending recovering over the summer months. As we’ve said for the best part of 2015, lending continues to be supported by strong fundamentals, which are low inflation, strong wage growth, an improving labour market and competitive mortgage deals.
“Reflecting this recovery, we estimate lending this year to reach £214 billion, up from our earlier estimate of £209 billion. Looking ahead, upside potential appears limited as a result of affordability pressures and new supply challenges which will continue to weigh on activity.”
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “This year wasn’t as quick out of the blocks as 2014 in terms of mortgage lending and overall housing market activity, but is now in much finer fettle than we saw 12 months ago. A strengthening economy and favourable lending conditions means that transactions haven’t tailed off like they did last year, although the seasonal slowdown in December is still to be expected.
“The recent measures announced by the Government to build new homes and offer help to those looking to take their first step on the property ladder are welcome gestures, but it will be some time before this intervention is evident in the various monthly indices. The powers that be also need to be careful of artificially stimulating the market at the bottom end while continuing to penalise those in the upper reaches.”
Richard Sexton, Director of e.surv chartered surveyors, comments: “While the global economic recovery continues to be fragile, the last year has seen more solid improvements in Britain. There’s a new level of flexibility within the housing market for many homeowners, and the range of mortgage options available has gifted existing homeowners the opportunity to chase down the best deals. A healthier lending climate in general has been carried by the vital combination of low inflation and strong wages – a scenario that many expect to continue into the New Year.
“But many first-time buyers are still feeling the chill. Whilst overall lending has risen, small-deposit lending has stalled. It equates to just 16.3% of total house purchase approvals, leaving wishes of a new home by Christmas unfulfilled for many. As house price rises continue their momentum, many first-timers are facing an uncertain future. Lenders are increasingly happy to help first-timers with healthy credit ratings, but there is a serious lack of entry-level homes, meaning a generation of aspiring homeowners can’t make the most of the favourable financial conditions.
“With interest rate rises again on the agenda, this could create a demand for remortgage in H2 2016, but certainly for now, the lending market seems firmly back on its feet.”