Mortgage loans to reach £170bn mark for 2013

MORTGAGE lending dipped slightly during November, down £600m from the previous month, despite a surge over the past year.

According to the latest estimate from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), gross mortgage lending dipped to £17bn last month, but stayed 30 per cent higher than the figure in November 2012, demonstrating how much more active the housing market has been in 2013.

“Gross lending for 2013 looks set to reach £170bn – higher than the £156bn we originally forecast, but still a far cry from the £363bn experienced at the height of the lending boom in 2007,” commented Bob Pannell, CML chief economist.

LSL Property Services’ buy to let index indicates that the rapid rise in house prices has not translated through to rented property. Rents rose 1.6 per cent over the same 12 month period.

Though earnings have risen at a slower pace, the hike is much more modest than the 4.9 per cent price increase LSL recorded for November.

“Economic reality now resembles the most optimistic dreams of last year. But for so many households, the dream of homeownership is still relegated to the imagination,” added LSL director David Newnes.

Andy Frankish of Mortgage Advice Bureau concluded that the figures were a buoyant indication for the market as 2014 begins: “There is plenty more to come as high loan-to-value (LTV) lending picks up... Recent growth in lending figures has been achieved before Help to Buy 2 loans have even been approved, so we can certainly expect bigger things in the new year.”