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New mortgage lending sees September boost

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by Gill Montia

September’s mortgage approvals for house purchases were at their highest level since March 2008, the Bank of England has reported.

During the month, lenders endorsed 56,215 loans for home buyers, a 3,000 plus improvement on August.

However, remortgaging volumes continued to decline.

Commenting on the data, Council of Mortgage Lenders’ economist, Paul Samter, observes: “There is clear evidence of a significant pick up in housing market lending activity from a year ago, even though it remains low on any historic comparison.”

He adds, “on the other side of the gross lending equation, remortgaging volumes continue to weaken”.

This he attributes to borrowers coming off fixed rates and opting to revert to lenders’ standard variable rates, given that in the short term interest rates are not expected to rise.

Looking to the future, the economist says with the UK still in recession, and continued funding difficulties for lenders, he is “cautious” about predicting a continued increase in mortgage lending.

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News posted: October 29, 2009

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