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Double digit rise for mortgage lending in 2016

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Mortgage lending rose by a healthy 12% in 2016 compared to 2015 despite economic uncertainty over Brexit, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The mortgage trade body said that lending reached £20.4bn in December, bringing the estimated total for the year to £246bn, a 12% increase on 2015’s £220bn and the highest annual gross lending figure since 2008.

Mortgage lending for the fourth quarter of 2016 was an estimated £62bn. This is a 3% decrease on the third quarter and closely matches the 61.8bn lent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Positive note

CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei said: “The UK housing market, much like the wider UK economy, ended 2016 on a generally positive note.

“Approvals for house purchase have recovered strongly of late, and this should feed through to lending figures in the early months of 2017. The current availability of mortgage credit is benign, and the real issue continues to be a dearth of properties on the market, which adds to the challenges facing would-be buyers.

“Uncertainty associated with political factors and prospective changes to the tax treatment of landlords will weigh on prospects for the year ahead.”

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, agreed: “Overall the market in 2017 is likely to be dampened by uncertainties around the economy and buy-to-let lending levels are expected to be lower as further tax changes take effect.”

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