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Mortgage lending falls 32 per cent in January

Mortgage lending falls 32 per cent in January

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 18/02/2010
First Published: 18/02/2010

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Gross mortgage lending declined by an estimated 32 per cent in January, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have shown.

Approximately £9.1 billion was lent last month, a fall from £13.4 billion in December, and a 21 per cent decline from £11.5 billion in January 2009.

A fall between December and January is typical but last month's gross lending figure is the lowest seen for almost a decade, the smallest total since £7.9 billion was lent in February 2000.

This marked drop is evidence that house purchase activity was boosted in December by a number of borrowers trying to complete their purchase before the end of the year to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, said the CML.

The body, along with other organisations, had called for the Government to extend the programme beyond the end of 2009, in a bid to cultivate a lasting recovery in the property market, to no avail.

Its chief economist, Paul Samter, said: "We remain in a period of uncertainty for the housing market and economy at large. The market certainly improved over the second half of last year and started 2010 in better shape than most would have predicted twelve months ago.

"More recent developments have been influenced by the end of the stamp duty holiday, and are likely to foreshadow a larger than usual seasonal drop off in activity in the early part of this year."

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