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Mortgage lending hits £1bn a day as boom goes on

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24/04/2007

More than £1bn a day was borrowed by homeowners in March, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

A big increase in remortgaging ahead of an expected rise in interest rates, coupled with the ever-increasing cost of property, pushed up borrowing by 22% in comparison with February.

A total of £31.3bn was borrowed against homes during the month, with total mortgage lending in March up 10% on the £28.3bn borrowed in the same month a year earlier.

CML director-general, Michael Coogan, said: “This is the highest-ever March lending figure. It is clear that many borrowers are taking steps to cover against higher mortgage costs.”

He continued: “There is still a question mark over just how strong mortgage lending will be over the coming months as the prospect of higher interest rates takes its toll on demand. But we continue to expect mortgage lending to reach a record £360bn this year.”

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) reported a £5.1bn increase in mortgage lending in March, but noted that this was below the £5.5bn average of the past six months.

Director of statistics at the BBA, David Dooks, said: “Since interest rates began rising last August, higher mortgage costs have been absorbed by households and high lending growth continued to keep up with rising prices.

“In the past two months, demand has moderated a little and, with no short-term prospect of costs reducing, mortgage lending growth should ease in the coming months.”

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