Monthly mortgage lending reaches five-year peak

The CML figures show that gross mortgage lending rose by 9 per cent from September’s figure of £16.2bn, and some 37 per cent higher than the October 2012 lending figure of £12.9bn.

The positive lending figures were mirrored by an increase in the number of UK housing transactions, with the CML estimating it will top 1m for 2013, the highest level since 2007.

Bob Pannell, CML chief economist, said: “Housing activity is set to strengthen further and contribute to overall economic growth.

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“Combined with the Bank of England’s recent optimism about the economy, this has led some commentators to speculate that an early rate rise may be on the cards.

“We do not currently share this view, which we believe underplays the importance that the MPC attaches to a secure recovery before raising rates.”

The improved lending figures triggered a positive response from the mortgage industry.

David Whittaker, managing director of Kent-based intermediary Mortgages for Business, said: “October 2008 wasn’t exactly a vintage month, so a return to anywhere near that pre-crisis level of lending is a major accomplishment.”

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “Recovery is no longer a whispered word, or a vague hope. Mortgages are flowing, and the property market has been revitalised. The fact that the availability of 95 per cent mortgages has increased by more than 50 per cent just adds to the excitement.”

Monthly gross mortgage lending 2013

MonthFigure (£m)
May 14,788
October (estimated)17,600
Source: CML

Adviser View

Andrew Montlake, director of London-based broker Coreco, said: “The best thing of all is that it’s looking even better for 2014. We speak to the major lenders each day and many are already shaping up to lend even more next year. There are various new products in the pipeline that will enable even more people to borrow during 2014.”