Lending figures 'soar' in January

01 March 2006
Mortgage lending reached record levels in January, according to new figures.

The net value of mortgage lending stood at £14.5 billion in January, which represented a 25 per cent increase on the amount lent in the same month last year.

But it was not just the amount lent that was up, but January also saw a rise in the number of mortgages agreed – at 140,020, figures from the Major British Banking Groups showed.

There were eight per cent more mortgages lent last month than there were in January 2005, with the average mortgage for a house purchase standing at £126,800.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at consultancy Global Insight, said: "Overall, the mortgage approvals and lending data indicates that the more robust housing market activity evident in the second half of 2005 has continued into 2006.

"This is also strongly borne out by the January mortgage data from the Building Societies Association and the Council of Mortgages Lenders (CML), as well as Hometrack's February report which reports a 'surge in the number of new buyers coming into the market'."

CML figures also reveal that last month, £23 billion was lent, making January the highest lending month on record.

Michael Coogan, CML director, said that these positive lending results were due to "the fact that consumers are feeling more certain about the future of the housing market and confident that house prices are unlikely to fall".

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