Lending decline points to cooler housing market

Chris Papadopoullos
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LENDING to home buyers fell month-on-month in September, but remains substantially higher than a year ago.

The number of loans to home buyers was 58,000 in September – seven per cent lower than in August – according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders yesterday.

However, the figure is still 13.1 per cent higher than in September 2013 as the market remains at elevated levels.

The last 18 months have seen a boom in house prices but the data from the CML are consistent with the view that the market has slowed since the summer.

“The latest CML data add to now pretty widespread evidence that the housing market has come off the boil,” said IHS’ Howard Archer.

Even the first-time buyer market – which has been buoyed by the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme – saw three per cent fewer loans in September than August.

“Whether this is a seasonal blip – a mere autumn breather – or whether the market is indeed cooling, will be seen as we move slowly into 2015,” said Andy Knee, chief executive of legal services firm LMS.