Mortgage lending reached £23bn in October

Mortgage lending reached £23bn in October

Gross mortgage lending reached £23.1bn in October, according to UK Finance.

The financial services trade association said mortgage activity has been growing steadily over the course of 2016, helped by an increasing number of first-time buyers.

Gross lending in October was 9 per cent higher than a year earlier, according to UK Finance's estimates.

It also estimated that 60 per cent of lending was provided by High Street banks.

UK Finance also revealed credit card spending increased in November, raising the annual growth in outstanding credit to 7.5 per cent.

Meanwhile business borrowing has continued at moderate levels through 2017, with the sectors of manufacturing, wholesale and retail business showing only modest annual growth.

Eric Leenders, managing director of commercial and personal finance at UK Finance, said: "Today’s data reflects a continuing trend that we have seen throughout 2017: ongoing activity in the mortgage market and a shift towards more flexible and affordable personal credit options.

"But there are signs of caution from the business community which could indicate that many firms are choosing to build up capital rather than borrowing to invest.  

“Increasing numbers of first-time buyers, low interest rates and a competitive marketplace have helped build up mortgage activity through the year, with gross lending standing at nine per cent higher than at the same point in 2016.

"Credit card spending has continued to rise as more financial transactions are now carried out using cards, mirroring the declining use of loans and personal overdrafts.

“However, business borrowing has continued to moderate through 2017, with the major sectors of manufacturing, wholesale and retail business showing only modest annual growth, while construction and property-related sectors have contracted their bank borrowing over the year.”