Mortgage lending sees slight pick-up

Mortgage application form The monthly mortgage data has fluctuated during the year

Activity in the UK housing market has continued to pick up slightly despite some monthly fluctuations in the figures, a lenders' group has said.

There were 146,500 mortgages advanced for house purchases in the third quarter of the year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

This was 13% higher than the previous quarter and similar to the same period a year earlier.

However, the number of loans advanced in September dropped sharply.

Some 44,400 loans were advanced during the month, a 17.6% drop from a "strong" August, the CML said, and 9% down on September 2011.

"While lending in September was slow after a particularly strong August, quarterly figures suggest that the underlying picture is more positive," said CML director general Paul Smee.

Previously published figures from HM Revenue and Customs have shown that the number of home sales in the UK has risen by 9% in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2011.

Many commentators have suggested that lending could pick up further as the Funding for Lending scheme gathers pace. This makes £60bn available for banks to borrow in the first phase of the scheme, which began on 1 August, which in turn can be lent to householders and small businesses.

So far this appears to have been heavily concentrated on cheap mortgage deals for people with very large deposits to put down.

"Monthly fluctuations in lending volumes make it difficult to get a clear picture of what is happening in the market so the quarterly statistics are much more useful, painting a more positive picture," said Mark Harris, of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients.

"The mortgage market is still constrained but is showing signs of easing. Money market rates are falling as the Funding for Lending scheme continues to have an impact on pricing."

The CML figures show that, on average, first-time buyers still need to provide a deposit of 20% of a home's value.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.