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Gross mortgage lending £17.6 billion in February

Published: 17 March 2016

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £17.6 billion in February. This is 5% lower than January (£18.5 billion) but 30% higher than February last year (£13.6 billion) and the highest lending total for a February since 2008 when gross lending reached £24.1 billion.

Commenting on market conditions in this month’s market commentary, CML economist Mohammad Jamei said:

Lending continues the year on a positive note, with our monthly estimate showing an increase of 30% in February compared to a year ago. This growth rate is in line with what we saw in the closing months of 2015. The recovery is being underpinned by market fundamentals in the UK, as wages grow and unemployment falls, helped by government schemes and competitive mortgage deals.

But we think it unlikely that there will be any significant acceleration in lending. While there may be a slight current boost to lending as some transactions seek to complete before the 1 April tax changes in the buy-to-let-sector, this is likely to be followed by a slight fall in activity. Affordability pressures continue to weigh on activity, as does the low number of properties coming on the market, though this has been improving very recently.

Notes to editors

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.1 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.3 trillion.

2. The Council of Mortgage Lenders does not publish statistics for mortgage approvals. The data in our monthly mortgage lending press release and gross lending press releases relate to mortgage advances only. A mortgage approval is the firm offer to a customer of a specific amount of credit secured against a particular property. A mortgage advance is the total amount of loan actually provided to the buyer, by the lender.

3. The CML's March gross mortgage lending estimate will be published on Thursday 21 April 2016.

4. March market commentary can be viewed on the CML website under the News & Views - Analysis section.

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