Asking Prices maybe positive, but lending still steady

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) this week announced the gross mortgage lending figures for February and reported that lending was steady and unchanged since Feberaury.

Lending was an estimated to be £10.7 billion which is almost identical to January’s gross lending total of £10.65 billion and 14% higher than February last year.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell comments:

“Although a seasonal decline is expected over the winter months, our forward estimates suggest that February was the seventh month in a row of higher year-on-year lending. This indicates that lending for house purchase remains brisk in advance of the ending of the Stamp Duty concession.

“The launch of the NewBuy scheme is an important addition to lenders’ toolkit in addressing the various needs of would-be borrowers. The scheme has the potential to offset the dip in first-time buyer activity that the end of the stamp duty concession on 24 March may produce.”

The steady lending figures are interesting after the earlier press release this week from showing a positive start to the average asking price.

Alec Hanson

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