Latest gross mortgage lending statistics for November 2014
Following the property market forecast released earlier in the week, the Council of Mortgage Lenders have also published their latest mortgage lending statistics.
Key findings within the data include that gross mortgage lending is estimated to have reached £16.9 billion in November. Though this a 9% decrease from the previous month, this figure matches the level reached during the same period in 2013.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments, “The contours of the UK housing market have shifted from the start of 2014, with property price rises softening into a more organic upward curve. New configurations of affordability checks and pre-emptive measures in the mortgage market temporarily diverted the route of lending, but overall progress is healthy.
“Mortgage products have never been more attractive, and with plentiful choice of properties and now smaller up-front stamp duty costs, buyers are faced with a very favourable set of conditions. This has a knock-on effect for sellers, as durable demand enables them to trade up, and this fluidity of movement at every level of the market will ensure buoyant activity and optimism spills over into the start of next year.”
David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, comments, “A seasonal chill has seeped into the property market in recent months, and growth has frosted over somewhat. House price rises have cooled, and in some regions, property values have stalled. But historically the biggest advances are usually made in the first half of the year, so this tempering of conditions is at least in part just a natural twist in the market cycle. Below the surface, a persistent flow of lending is still coursing through the market, and volumes are holding fast on last year.
“First-time buyers have been ploughing forward this year, in the slipstream of the Help to Buy scheme and higher LTV lending. But now aspiring homeowners have to navigate loan-to-income caps and a stricter mortgage terrain. However, stamp duty reforms may reinvigorate demand at the bottom rungs of the market, and clear the way for a new drift of activity.”
Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, comments, “Despite a number of indications, it will only be in the New Year when we’ll finally get to see how the housing market is really shaping up. For now, there is as much working in favour of predicted higher lending and greater activity as there is against it; however, this does not necessarily have to be a cloud on the horizon.
“The fact that gross mortgage lending is lower in November than in October – further evidence of a cooling housing market compared to early on in the year – and that a sense of caution has been introduced to the market inevitably accompanying an election year should not dispel a more positive outlook.
“The latest Stamp Duty announcement may push up housing activity, with homeowners, previously inhibited by the dreaded ‘slab system’, now finally able to sell their homes. There are expectations in 2015 that lenders will acquire a full understanding of MMR now that it has been in place for a number of months with systems working efficiently to adhere to this. There is also the hope that lenders will receive proactive encouragement from the FCA to lend more.
“Going into 2015, therefore, there is hope that this push and pull will even out the housing market, encouraging it to grow at a gradual, more sustainable rate.”