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Mortgage lending reaches record high

22 November 2003
According to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, mortgage lending has hit a record high for the fourth month running, suggesting consumers have been undeterred by the prospect of higher interest rates.

Figures for October show gross lending increased eight per cent on September, reaching £27.5 billion, almost a third higher than for the same month in the previous year.

Michael Coogan, CML director general, said: 'Lending levels continue to confound expectations. We expect the recent resurgence in the housing market to result in high lending levels in November too, as people try to complete their moves before Christmas.'

Separate figures from the British Bankers' Association and the Building Societies Association supported the CML's data, also showing a jump in mortgage lending.

Despite upbeat figures in the face of increased base rates, Capital Economics has expressed concern over the fall in popularity of fixed-rate mortgages against the prospect of further rate rises.