House loans grow despite grim economy

 
Tim Wallace
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THE HOUSING market showed signs of life in November with sales and remortgages both rising, data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed yesterday.

Growth is expected to continue in the months before March, after which first-time buyers will no longer benefit from stamp duty exemption.

Overall lending for house purchase rose four per cent on the month and three per cent to 47,000, while the value of those loans increased by five per cent on the year and on the month to £6.9bn.

Loans to first-time buyers rose four per cent on the month, and four per cent on the year, to 17,300.

By value, those loans rose five per cent over both periods, hitting £2.1bn.

However, economists fear economic conditions may slow the market.

“Housing market activity will come under increasing downward pressure from weak economic activity and rising unemployment,” said IHS Global Insight’s Howard Archer.