Lenders report rise in number of home loans

Julian Harris
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GAGE loans ticked up in November, an influential group of lenders said yesterday, with a rise in the number of first-time buyers providing a welcome boost to the figures.

The number of loans for house purchases grew by six per cent in the penultimate month of 2012, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) found.

Mortgages to people taking their first steps onto the property ladder hit the highest monthly total since the end of 2009, excluding March 2012 when the end of a stamp duty holiday warped the figures.

First-time buyers were advanced 21,700 loans in November, with a value of £2.7bn. The total number of these loans was eight per cent up on the previous month, and a staggering 24 per cent higher than in November 2011.

Including remortgages and new mortgages to people moving house, there were 52,700 loans in November, the CML said – up 6.3 per cent on October, and 12.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The CML’s data “follows on from the latest Bank of England’s credit conditions survey reporting that lenders made significantly more capital available for mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2012 and expect a further marked increase in the first quarter of 2013,” commented Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight.

Overseas buyers purchased an eye-watering £2.2bn worth of new-build property in central London last year, according to high-end estate agent Knight Frank.

The figure was up from £1.8bn in 2011, it said.

The report, released yesterday, also revealed that people from the Far East are the most likely to snap up new-build properties in central London.

Over a fifth (22 per cent) of transactions were made by people from Singapore, while buyers from Hong Kong made up 16 per cent, with those from mainland China at five per cent.