Mortgage lending up in March

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has reported March gross mortgage lending was up by 16% from February, to an estimated £11.5 billion.

Mortgage lendingThis rise comes on the back of mortgage lending also being slightly higher in February.

Put into perspective though, gross mortgage lending in March 2008 was £24.2 billion, making the £11.5 billion in March 09 a 52% decline.

On a quarterly basis, the first quarter 2009 (March to April) saw a 29% decline compared to the fourth quarter (October to December) 2008, considerably more than the seasonal fall usually anticipated of 10%.

Michael Coogan, CML director general, said ‘While the market is beginning to show some signs of stabalising, housing transactions and lending are set to remain low for the forseeable future.’

He added ‘Today’s Budget does provide the opportunity for action to reinforce the housing market. In particular we would like to see the government extend and simplify low-cost home-ownership, raise the stamp duty threshold to £250,000, and expand existing support schemes for borrowers in difficulty.’

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ consists of banks, building societies and other lenders who account for around 98% of UK residential mortgage lending.

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