January lending at highest level in nine years
Mortgage lending reached an estimated £18.9 billion in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
This is 6% lower than December’s lending total of £20 billion, but 2% higher than the £18.6 billion lent in January last year.
And it’s the highest lending total for the month of January since 2008 (£25.2 billion).
CML economist Mohammad Jamei said: “Overall mortgage lending continues to hold up pretty well, but we seem to have a twin-track market. Weakness in buy-to-let and home movers has been offset by an increase in first-time buyers and remortgage lending.
“A continuing acute shortage of homes being offered for sale is one aspect of a broken housing market, that looks unlikely to resolve in the near term.”
Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, added that he expected 2017 lending levels to be similar to last year: “With house hunters becoming more price sensitive during increased economic uncertainty, my expectation is for a similar year to 2016 in terms of transactions with perhaps a modest growth in gross lending.”