Mortgage lending peaks in the absence of first-time buyers

01 September 2003
New figures released this morning by the Bank of England show that mortgage lending hit new heights in July.

Lending rose by a net £8.35 billion over the month, the Bank reports - the biggest monthly increase since records began in 1993.

However, consumer credit only rose by £1.54 billion in the same period, as against £2.15 billion in June.

111,000 new mortgages were taken out in July - at a time when first time buyers entering the housing market were at an all-time low.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Gerrard, commented to the BBC, "That can lead to only one conclusion, that equity release is continuing apace."

“There has been a pick up from the lows in April, May time, but I think what you also see is that the amount of lending is rising much more sharply than the transactions”, he added.