Wednesday 12 September 2012 8:38 pm

Mortgage lending booms in July as market strengthens

A JUMP in loans to home movers outweighed a slip in lending to first-time buyers, data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed yesterday, leading to an overall increase in mortgage market lending. There were 30,500 loans made to homeowners moving house in July, up 8.2 per cent from June, together totalling £5.1bn, again up 8.5 per cent compared to the previous month. For existing homeowners the average income multiple declined from 2.91 to 2.88, and the average loan to value (LTV) ratio slipped from 70 per cent to 69 per cent. But first-time buyers faced a market that opened up in some areas, if they could get hold of credit. One per cent fewer mortgages were agreed, but their value climbed 4.2 per cent on the month, and the average LTV climbed one percentage point to 81 per cent. The main area of tightening was in average income multiples, which slipped from 3.29 in June, to 3.21 in July. But the yearly trend was clearly positive, with an eight per cent increase in the number of loans and a 13.6 per cent jump in their value. The only potentially negative element was the slightly higher proportion of income spent on payments – but that could be driven by the higher number of bigger loans available. “July’s figures show a gradual improvement in the market,” said CML boss Paul Smee, “with lending approaching the sort of levels we saw at the end of the stamp duty concession.”