MORTGAGE lending soared throughout the housing market in March, industry data showed yesterday, as the stamp duty holiday fuelled an escalation in buying.
First-time buyers were exempt from stamp duty on properties worth under £250,000 until the end of the month resulting in a 74 per cent monthly rise in the number of first time buyers as they rushed to beat the deadline, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
On the year that was a 57 per cent rise, taking the number of first time buyers in March to 24,000.
Because they are often involved in long chains of buyers, that rush led to a 25 per cent rise in the number of home movers in the month to 27,200, a 15 per cent jump on the year.
However, the CML warned that this positive impact will rapidly disappear without the stimulus of the stamp duty break.
“If lending follows the same pattern as after previous stamp duty concessions, we will likely see a drop in activity in the next few months,” said Paul Smee.