BoE reveals increase in mortgage lending

The Bank’s latest credit conditions survey found lending to homeowners had been boosted by the launch of the Funding for Lending scheme in August 2012.

The 15-page report said: “In the three months to mid-December, lenders reported a significant increase in the overall availability of secured credit to households.

“Lenders noted that the Funding for Lending scheme had been an important factor behind this increase, consistent with a reported easing in wholesale funding conditions pushing up significantly on credit availability.”

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The survey found that credit was extended on loan-to-values of above and below 75 per cent, with increases in lending to first-time buyers as well.

The report said: “The availability of secured credit was expected to increase significantly further in the first quarter of 2013, again driven by market share objectives and a slight continued easing in wholesale funding conditions, as well as, for some lenders, increased appetite for risk.”

The Building Societies Association announced lending by its members increased by 9 per cent year-on-year in November 2012 to £2.7bn, while in the first 11 months of 2012 mutuals lent £28.3bn for mortgages.

Ashley Brown, director of London-based Moneysprite, said: “It is not often you can say the Bank has pulled a rabbit out of the hat, but with the Funding for Lending scheme this appears to be the case.

“What we are waiting for now is lenders to start becoming more consistent at higher LTVs and for their criteria to be realistic, not based on fear.”