CML Survey shows rise in mortgage lending

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has released the Regulated Mortgage Survey which shows a 22% year-on-year rise in the number of mortgages taken out.  A total of 35,600 mortgages were taken out in January 2012.  These loans are worth £5.3 billion, a 23% increase on January 2011.
These figures are down 25% on volume compared to those for December.  
Paul Smee, Director General of the CML commented that: 
“We traditionally see a substantial fall in lending figures at the start of the year, reflecting the lack of enthusiasm by buyers to move house during the post-Christmas months, and this January has been no exception. But the year-on-year rise in house purchase lending suggests that lending levels are generally rising although we expect the trajectory to be bumpy rather than smooth this year.”
January saw a drop both monthly and year-on-year, in the number and value of remortgage loans taken out.  26,600 remortgage loans were taken out in the month, worth £3.6 billion.   This is a drop of 6% from December and a fall of 13% from January 2011.
The number of loans to first-time buyers was 13,200.  This is a 30% drop from December but a 23% increase from January 2011.  With the Stamp Duty holiday for first-time buyers on properties under £250,000 ending on March 24, it will be interesting to see how this figure changes over the next few months.
The average deposit for first-time buyers for January was 80%.  This remains unchanged compared to January 2011. Paul Smee commented that: 
“"Average deposits for first-time buyers have stayed steady at around 20% for over a year but that figure may start to drift down gently over the coming months especially as NewBuy has been launched for new homes."
The figures seem to suggest a general increase in activity in the housing market, allowing for seasonal fluctuations.  There appears to be growing optimism surrounding the property market, and the likelihood of a continuing upward trend.  
CML; mortgages; first-time buyers; 
Today's Conveyancer