Gross lending was up an estimated 43 per cent year-on-year in February, according to new figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Lending was at its highest February total since 2008 with £15.2bn advanced, up significantly on the £10.6bn advanced in the same month last year.
However, lending was down 6 per cent on a monthly basis, falling from £16.1bn in January.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell says: “Housing market indicators have continued to be strong over recent months, once seasonal factors have been taken into account.
“First-time buyers have benefited most from the government’s Help to Buy initiatives, with the more recent mortgage guarantee scheme now starting to push typical loan-to-value levels higher.
“The housing market got a further boost from this week’s Budget. This, together with benign developments in the economy more widely, should bolster short-term sentiment and activity.”
Legal & General Mortgage Club director of mortgage club and housing Stephen Smith believes lending can continue growing despite the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review next month.
He says: “These figures from the CML show that the mortgage market is returning to a healthier level of lending. With Help to Buy 1 now being extended until 2020, it is likely that the upward trend in mortgage lending seen recently will continue despite the introduction of the MMR.
”However, there are still some major obstacles for those looking to get on the housing ladder or move from their current home. House prices in certain parts of the country continue to rise far faster than the rate of wage inflation making them simply unaffordable for many.
”The government’s initiatives to build more homes, announced in yesterday’s budget, will go some way to help keep the market fluid and ensure demand doesn’t continue to outstrip supply. Despite this, we still need to see much more stimulus to house building.”
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