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|Gross mortgage lending stable - but positive signs remain - commentary from IRESS|
|Thursday, 17 November 2016|
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has this morning issued a release estimating that gross mortgage lending held steady at £20.6 billion in October, up very slightly on September’s figure of £20.5 billion.
Responding to the CML release, Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, said: “Over the last four years, gross mortgage lending in October has shown a trend to be strong, with last year’s lending figures the highest since July 2008. Recent market conditions and indicators all showed positive signs, so the expectation was that the market would continue grow, which it has, but surprisingly, only by a very small amount.
“The outlook for both homebuyers and existing homeowners is still looking positive, thanks in part to the Bank of England's decision to cut interest rates to 0.25% back in August. Mortgage affordability has reached its best level since records began, with monthly mortgage costs hitting a record low for home movers and first time buyers alike.
“Record low rates have also helped to offset the impact of the uptick in house prices seen in some areas of the UK during recent times. The combined effect of all of this should make buying a new home - whether for first time buyers or movers - a more achievable prospect for many people as we head into 2017.”
“I still think the mortgage market remains vibrant. Low interest rates, a levelling of house prices and continued consumer confidence have all combined to maintain market momentum.
“It’ll be interesting to see if the Chancellor has any good news for the mortgage and housing markets in the Autumn Statement. It’s expected he will confirm earlier announcements of funds towards new homes to be built by small firms, but many would like to see further investment into rental properties.”
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