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Mortgage lending up

Mortgage lending up

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 27/01/2010
First Published: 11/06/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

There is further evidence of the beginning of slow but steady recovery in the housing market, as figures show the number of home loans given to consumers rose by 16 per cent in April.

Since the beginning of June, various surveys, data and studies have revealed that mortgage brokers and advisers' confidence has improved, house prices have increased and buyer enthusiasm has grown.

These latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show a modest increase in the number of loans given to consumers for house purchase.

Lenders approved 35,600 home loans in April, approximately £4.5 billion in total.

While month-on-month growth is encouraging, a yearly comparison shows the property market still has some way to go before it breaks out of the current malaise. Over the last seven years, the average number of home loans in April has been 88,000 and this year's total is down by over a quarter (28 per cent) on April 2008.

The CML's figures also show that first time buyers took up 13,500 home loans in the month, worth some £1.4 billion. The total is down on last year and this group still has to find a deposit averaging 25 per cent of the property's total value, a figure that has remained unchanged since February.

The average value of a fixed rate mortgage taken up by first time buyers rose slightly to £96,000 in the month. It is the first time the measure has risen since May 2008.

remortgaging declined on a monthly and yearly basis, with 31,000 loans in April, down by 22 per cent on March and by 65 per cent on April 2008. This is because low reversion rates and stricter lending criteria for the most attractive deals are making refinancing less attractive, the CML said.

"There are tentative signs of house purchase lending stabilising, but we need to see considerably higher transaction levels to underpin house prices," said the CML's head of research, Bob Pannell.

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