Spike in buy-to-let lending
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed the total value of these loans was £7.7bn, an increase of 5% on the previous three months and up 26% on the fourth quarter of 2013.
The number of loans were 4% up on the previous quarter and a 16% rise on the same period a year before.
This compares favourably to the residential market where the number of loans completed was down 5% compared to the last quarter. These 173,200 loans were valued at £28.8bn, down 8% on the same period.
The statistics also showed remortgage lending down marginally on the previous quarter with first-time buyer lending relatively flat.
However, despite the slowdown towards the end of the year, homeowner, first-time buyer and home mover lending across the year all increased compared to 2013 figures.
Across all types of lending the CML’s gross lending estimate for 2014 is £204.4bn, up 14% on 2013.
Paul Smee, director-general of the CML, said the market needed to prepare for another year of change.
“In 2014, the mortgage market saw unprecedented change with the introduction of major regulatory reform but the market has adjusted and kept its stability throughout,” he said.
“There will be challenges in 2015, including preparation work on the European Directive implementation and a general election potentially bringing new housing policies to be put in place. But the industry is stronger than a year ago and ready to meet the challenges going forward.”