Signs for optimism in mortgage lending

Signs for optimism in mortgage lending

Total gross mortgage lending increased to £12.1 billion in April, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML estimate that total gross mortgage lending increased by 4% but warns that meaningful comparisons with a year ago are difficult due to the end of the stamp duty concession.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: “The true underlying position is that April is likely to have been one of the strongest months for lending activity since late 2008, but not as strong as the year-earlier comparison suggests.

“Gross lending on a seasonally adjusted basis has been running comfortably above £12 billion for several months, but this is still barely half the average level of lending seen in 2003-4."

David Brown, commercial director at LSL Property Services, also urged cautious optimism saying there was still a long way to go. He said: ““It will take many more quarters of strong economic growth before more cash starts to trickle through to wages.

"But in the meantime better finance for landlords is one way to help the balance.

“Certainly, expanding the stock of privately rented homes is the best way to help control rents and ease the strain on the pockets of tenants.”

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