Bank of England says Help to Buy is driving mortgage availability increase

Some more data to buttress evidence of a rapidly picking up housing market, this time from the Bank of England.

The Bank's credit conditions survey showed demand for house purchase loans and mortgages went up in the fourth quarter of 2013, with mortgage demand at its highest level since 2007.

Along with secured lending to households, lending to businesses also increased "significantly".

The Bank said (emphasis our own):

Lenders expected the availability of secured credit to significantly increase in 2014 Q1, including for those borrowers with a LTV ratio above 75 per cent and 90 per cent.

Many lenders attributed the increased availability at the highest LTV ratios to participation in the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme, while some others attributed it to increased competition associated with the Scheme.

Consistent with a move into higher LTV lending, lenders expected the average credit quality of new lending to fall over the next quarter.

Lenders are also planning to increase business lending this quarter.

Unsecured credit lending to households was unchanged in the last quarter of 2013, after increases in the previous quarters.