Gross mortgage lending began 2007 "in robust shape" with £26.8 billion lent in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), suggesting that buyers are continuing to come to market in spite of unprecedented high house prices.
Lending was six per cent less than the £28.5 billion lent in December but a record high for January, traditionally a lean season.
Meanwhile, the Building Societies Association (BSA) reported the highest gross lending and approvals figures on record for January.
Adjusted to absorb seasonal variation, the January approval figures were the highest on record for any month, the BSA said.
But Andrew Gall, the association's business economist, predicted that "robust mortgage figures in the near future … [will] fall back as the impact of recent rate rises feeds through".
CML director general Michael Coogan added that some homebuyers would be likely to choose to bring their move forwards in anticipation of a further quarter-point rise to the base rate by the summer.To learn more about the best mortgage deals, click here.
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