Mortgage lending soars in March

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 09:56:51 GMT

            Property News - Mortgage lending soars in March

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) indicate that the UK property market is in fine form, with gross mortgage lending up 26 per cent in March.

At £28.3 billion, the figure is also 34 per cent higher than the £21.2 billion lent in March 2005, with high levels of consumer confidence evidently playing a significant role.

The CML concedes that lending typically picks up in March anyway, following a quiet spell immediately after Christmas.

Nonetheless, this is the highest March lending figure on record, while lending has remained "unseasonally strong" throughout the winter.

After five consecutive months of record lending figures, CML director general Michael Coogan is understandably optimistic about the industry.

"The record lending in March reflects the high level of loan approvals in the autumn and winter as house prices stabilised and consumer confidence returned to the market," he said.

"House-buying activity was particularly strong around London reflecting high city bonuses, and this is probably a factor behind the strength of lending," he added.

Mr Coogan went on to suggest, however, that underlying activity is perhaps peaking, which could see the market quieting over the coming months.

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