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Friday 24th of April 2009
April 22, 2009

Mortgage lending in March increases by 16%


by Peter Charalambous
Mortgage lending in March increases by 16%

The latest figures form the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) gives further hope to the call that the property market will soon begin to stabilise after gross mortgage lending increased by 16 percent in March, compared with February to around £11.5bn.

It is still down 52% from the 2008 figures, however the sharp increase is further proof that money is now beginning to move within the property industry and that lenders are now freeing up credit.

Despite this, Michael Coogan CML’s director general has said that although this should be viewed as a step towards stabilisation, the likelihood is that the housing market in terms of lending and transactions is going to remain low at least for another year.

Analysts have also shared those exact sentiments and have warned against reading too much into the figures, although the number of homes exchanging hands passed the 40,000 mark in February for the first time in six months.

Property sales were at their highest level since October 2008 and even with seasonally adjusted figures, there is a 13 percent increase month-on-month.

This follows on from the good news that was broadcast by Nationwide, who said that house prices increased by 0.9 percent in March.

The budget was hoped to provide even more opportunity to support the housing market, although increasing the stamp duty threshold further and simplifying low cost ownership did not feature.

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