Home Loans Up 14% On Same Time Last Year
Mortgage lending has remained steady for the first two months of 2012, but is up significantly on the same time last year.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), February's gross mortgage lending was estimated at £10.7bn.The figure peaked just above January's lending of £10.65bn.
However in an encouraging sign, last month's lending figure is up 14% on the February 2011 total of £9.4bn.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: "Although a seasonal decline is expected over the winter months, our forward estimates suggest that February was the seventh month in a row of higher year-on-year lending.
"This indicates that lending for house purchases remains brisk in advance of the ending of the stamp duty concession."
Mr Pannell added: "The launch of the NewBuy scheme is an important addition to the lenders' tool kit in addressing the various needs of would-be borrowers.
The scheme has the potential to offset the dip in first-time buyer activity that the end of the stamp duty concession on March 24 may produce."
According to the CML, the normal seasonal pattern suppresses the market, with cold weather, lack of daylight and post-Christmas cash flow problems a deterrence to moving house.