January mortgage lending down from December, still sets record
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said that January saw the highest level of mortgage lending of any January on record. Gross mortgage lending in the month reached £26.8 billion dollars, 16 percent more than in January 2006. While the amount lent was 6 percent lower than in Decmeber, when the CML reported lending of £28.5 billion, it said that the January figures show that mortgage lending is at healthy levels and that it should stay that way over the next few months.
The Building Societies Association (BSA) agreed with that assessment, saying that lending and mortgage approvals were at an all-time high in January, reaching a seasonally adjusted rate of £5.95 billion in loans approved but not yet made. Amid predictions that the UK housing market is due to slow as the effect of higher interest rates becomes felt by those in the market for a new home, The BSA claimed that its figures did not show any signs of that happening yet.
Meanwhile, in other lending news, the British Bankers’ Association said that while consumers paid off a new record £500 million in credit card debt in January, borrowing through loans as well as credit cards was up by the same amount. This had the effect not of reducing personal debt, and that many consumers were simply transferring their debt from credit cards to loans.