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Mortgage lending falls 9% in January

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Mortgage lending fell by 9% in January to £10.4bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Mortgage lending falls 9% in January

Despite optimism for the housing market in the New Year, the figure also marked a 3% fall on January 2012.

CML market and data analyst Caroline Purdey said housing sentiment remained positive: “A worsening in the outlook for inflation presents a greater headwind, but we still expect the Funding for Lending scheme to lift activity over coming months.

“House purchase activity was robust into the start of 2013, on the back of better mortgage availability and pricing, and we share the Bank of England’s confidence that this will continue over the coming months.”

Moneysprite director Ashley Brown described the figures as surprising: “They certainly don’t reflect what we’re seeing in the market today. What we are seeing, though, is a certain amount of drag, namely the delay between people getting a mortgage offer and actually completing on a property.

“So while the January figures are down, there is plenty of activity in the market, and this should feed through to more positive figures in the coming months.”

High inflation would be a challenge to the property market if it led people to feel they could not afford to buy, he added.

E.surv chartered surveyors director Richard Sexton said the figures masked a much broader improvement in the mortgage market: “The Funding for Lending scheme is easing the paralysis of the mortgage market, and helped bump house purchase lending up to its highest level for five years in January.”



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