According to a number of reports this week, mortgage lending has fallen for the fourth consecutive month in a row, in what is a further sign that the property market here in the UK may be showing signs of ailing.
According to The Guardian, The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) announced this week that gross mortgage lending in November totalled £16.9 billion, and was down 9% in comparison to October’s figure. This is also the lowest figure recorded since April of this year, and the fall has seen mortgage activity return to almost the same level as that recorded at the end of 2013. A key factor thought to be contributing to the lower rates of mortgage lending is the introduction of tougher mortgage rules earlier this year, which require lenders to perform more stringent checks on mortgage applicants.
As reported by the BBC, the CML has also cautioned that they expect lending to rise at a slower rate than that observed during 2014. The trade body also announced that they anticipate that the number of homes sold in 2015 and 2016 will slow slightly, adding that a “gentle trajectory” for the mortgage market here in the UK would help to calm any fears over the effects of a potential housing boom.
Significantly, according to ThisisMoney, the CML believe that these findings suggest that the housing market may be calming. Indeed, they quote an economist from the CML as stating:”House purchase approvals have now fallen for four months in a row. Property transactions are back down to their levels of about a year ago. Coupled with a continuing fall in the annual growth rate of most house price indices, the market appears to be settled.”
Despite these predictions forecasting a cooling of the housing market, the recently unveiled reforms to the stamp duty system, announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement, are in fact expected to boost activity in the housing market, and increase house prices in the months ahead. Hence, it will be interesting to see what course the properly market here in the UK will ultimately take in the months, and indeed years ahead.
Reports such as these highlight how tricky navigating the property market can be. If you’re looking for a mortgage broker in Birmingham, then here at Search Mortgage Solutions, our Birmingham-based mortgage advisors can provide you with expert advice, and help you to find the most appropriate mortgage for you. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us today, and a member of our knowledgeable team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.