Housing market "stuck in a rut"

UK mortgage lending remained unchanged last month as the housing market is “stuck in a rut”, according to lenders.

February’s gross lending figure of an estimated £9.5bn was almost identical to January’s £9.475 bn, according to new data published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

“This is going to be a challenging year for households and the housing markets,” said Bob Pannell, chief economist at CML.

The CML does not anticipate much relief in next week’s Budget, Pannell explained.

Housing market figures remain unchanged despite the seasonal pick-up in house purchase demand over recent weeks.

There was a lull at the start of 2010 following the expiry of the stamp duty concession at the close of 2009.

Although lending is weak overall, stronger remortgage activity has continued into the early months of 2011.