13 May

Lending for house purchase down in March

Lending for house purchase down in March

The number of loans taken out for house purchases was down by one per cent in March from the previous month, to 46,500, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

That represents a 48 per cent reduction from 89,000 in March 2007.

Overall gross mortgage lending stood at £75 billion for the first quarter of 2008, which again is down from £83.9 billion in the same period last year.

Remortgaging activity remained strong, rising to £33.3 billion in the first quarter, which is an increase of 35 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2007.

CML director general Michael Coogan predicted that "house purchase transaction volumes will continue to deteriorate in the coming months".

"Libor still remains high relative to the Bank rate and any improvement in credit market conditions will take time to feed through into the mortgage market," he added.

Yesterday, John Charcol reported that increasing numbers of its customers are turning to the security of fixed-rate mortgages as the future of the housing market continues to look uncertain.

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