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Mortgage lending hits record high

20 October 2003
Mortgage lending reached record levels in September, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Total mortgage lending was £25.7billion in September and is the third month in row that mortgage lending has broken records, the CML said.

The council said that the UK property market remained strong and it could see no sign of the long-predicted slowdown.

"We expect lending to remain strong for the rest of this year and into next year - until the impact of predicted increases in interest rates feeds through," said CML Director General Michael Coogan.

Mr Coogan advised buyers to plan ahead for higher borrowing costs, though he stressed that mortgages would continue to remain affordable. He also pointed out that the strong demand for remortgaging continued to push figures up.

September's total puts annual lending on course to reach £270 billion in 2003, substantially higher than the £219 billion total mortgage lending in 2002.

However, there were fewer first time buyers than a year ago, accounting for just 31 per cent of house purchase loans in September, down from 38 per cent in September 2002.

Figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) also showed a rise in September borrowing of £5.5 billion.