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Home loans hit six-month high in June

GROSS mortgage lending hit a six-month high in June according to data released yesterday by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).<br /><br />Figures from the CML showed that gross mortgage lending rose 17 per cent in June to &pound;12.3bn from &pound;10.5bn in May, but was still 48.4 per cent lower than in June 2008.<br /><br />Gross lending in the second quarter totalled &pound;33.3bn, unchanged from the previous quarter, which was the lowest recorded since the first three months of 2001.<br /><br />CML economist Paul Samter said: &ldquo;The pick-up in June&rsquo;s lending largely reflects seasonal factors, and these may well support lending volumes at moderately higher levels over the rest of the summer.&rdquo;<br /><br />But both the CML and analysts warned that the restricted nature of mortgage funding, elevated and still markedly rising unemployment and muted wage growth would continue to hold back any significant improvement in the housing market.<br /><br />The CML&rsquo;s forecast for gross mortgage lending in 2009 remains at &pound;145bn, despite the June uptick.<br /><br />Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said: &ldquo;Housing market activity is still very low by past norms and at a level typically consistent with falling house prices.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Bank of England&rsquo;s Trends in Lending report showed the country&rsquo;s top six banking groups approved 51,000 mortgages for house purchase last month, while gross mortgage lending rose to &pound;9.2bn.