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Mortgage lending holds steady in October

Written by: Yusuf Tamanna
Gross mortgage is estimated to have reached £20.6bn in October closely matching September’s gross lending total of £20.5bn, but was down by 5% on October 2015’s figure of £21.8bn, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported.

CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei said housing market sentiment was holding up well, with demand still strong, leading to a pick up in approvals.

“The more pressing issue is on the supply side where the lack of private sellers continues to be an obstacle for would-be borrowers,” he added.

“For this reason, we expect lending in the months ahead to be driven more by remortgaging activity and less by house purchases.

“Remortgaging will be helped by competitively priced mortgage deals, which are encouraging borrowers to refinance.”

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, said lending figures for October over the past four years had been strong and the CML’s estimate appeared to be on trend, suggesting further growth was expected.

Woodcock said: “The mortgage market has remained vibrant. Low interest rates, a leveling of house prices and continued consumer confidence have all combined to maintain market momentum.”

John Eastgate, sales and marketing director at OneSavings Bank, said despite uncertainty in the market after the Brexit result in June, consumers have shown impressive resilience with a noticeable increase in remortgage activity.

The focus is now said to be on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, with many hoping for good news for the housing and mortgage market.

Jeremy Lead, north London estate agent, said:”We hope the Chancellor picks up on the importance of helping first-time buyers onto the ladder, particularly now buy-to-let investors seem to be scared of from adding to their portfolios in the light of previous changes to legislation and taxation.”

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