HSBC to lend £15bn in mortgages this year

HSBC to lend £15bn in mortgages this year

HSBC has announced plans to lend more than £15 billion in mortgages this year, with £3m of this ring-fenced for first-time buyers.

This should provide mortgages for up to 150,000 home buyers during 2012, including 27,000 people buying their first home.

The sum amounts to 11 per cent of all the mortgage borrowing predicted for 2012 and represents HSBC’s biggest ever share of the mortgage market.

Martijn van der Heijden, head of lending at HSBC, said that the promised investment “demonstrates HSBC’s commitment to continuing to help people move up or indeed take the first step on to the housing ladder.”

Although analysts have suggested that the economic downturn will cause lenders to tighten their mortgage criteria, HSBC said it had no plans to do so.

Its promised investment will come under its current lending strategy which is designed to ensure that new lending is in the best interests of customers and shareholders, the bank said.

The latest Bank of England Trends in Lending report suggests that there will be an increase in first-time buyer mortgage deals in the first quarter of 2012.

This will help borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios and could allow prospective buyers who are currently trapped in rental properties, to purchase their first property.

The first-time buyer share of the market has improved slightly since autumn 2011, when it hit its lowest level for nearly three years.

The latest data from the Council of Mortgage lenders reveals that first-time buyers took out 17,300 loans, worth £2.1bn, in November 2011, a 4 per cent increase by volume and 5 per cent by value compared with the previous month.

The withdrawal of the stamp duty concession in March is expected to help fuel an increase in first-time buyer activity in the first quarter, with prospective home owners hurrying to purchase their first property before the deadline.

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