The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £17.9 billion in January. This is 9% lower than December’s lending total of £19.8 billion, but 21% higher than the £14.8 billion lent in January last year. This is the highest lending total for a January since 2008 (£25.2 billion).
Commenting on market conditions in this month’s market commentary, CML economist Mohammad Jamei said:
Lending started the year on a positive note. Our monthly estimate is 21% higher than a year ago, with the current growth rate in lending similar to the closing months of 2015.
UK market fundamentals are helping to underpin this recovery, with real wage growth, an improving labour market, competitive mortgage deals, and government schemes all supporting household demand. We still only see limited upside potential going forwards, as the number of properties for sale on the market remains low and affordability pressures weigh on activity. Upcoming tax changes in the buy-to-let sector are adding an element of uncertainty to the market.