The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £13.4 billion in February. This is 9% down on both January and on last February, in both of which months £14.8 billion was advanced. This is the lowest monthly estimate for gross mortgage lending since April 2013 when lending totalled £12.4 billion.
Commenting on market conditions, CML chief economist Bob Pannell says:
“Earlier soft approvals data meant that weaker February lending has not come as a surprise. Seasonal factors tend to weigh on activity at the start of the year, but looking through these, the underlying picture appears to be stabilising.
We expect lending to improve in the coming months, as employment and earnings continue to pick up and the impact of recent stamp duty reforms start to feed through.”