Figures point towards stable mortgage lending

21 April 2005
Three separate sets of figures released yesterday all point towards stability in mortgage lending - although levels are lower than last year.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders found that gross mortgage lending climbed by 13 per cent during March, reaching £20.1 billion.

That figure is 19 per cent lower than last year, however: a mood echoed by the Building Societies Association's mortgage data, which also found signs of stabilisation at a lower level than last year.

"The figures suggest that the decline in mortgage activity has come to an end. After falling in the second half of last year, lending levels have remained unchanged in the first three months of this year," said Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association.

"Indeed the seasonally adjusted approvals [mortgages promised but not yet made] were the highest since last August. The market seems to have reached a new equilibrium, with a lower, but more stable, level of activity compared to a year ago."

The British Bankers Association found that net mortgage lending rose last month, with director of statistics David Dooks inferring that the underlying strength of the market was asserting itself over recent weaknesses.

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