Mortgage lending activity in the UK real estate market is buoyant with house-buyers continuing to borrow. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £21.4 billion in March and it 19 per cent higher than February’s lending total of £17.9 billion. This clearly indicates that the residential housing market in the UK remains stable.
The gross mortgage lending for the first quarter (Jan-March) of 2017 was an estimated £59.1 billion. The CML expects this borrowing trend to continue over the short-term, as low mortgage rates encourage existing borrowers to remortgage while government schemes help first-time buyers. The CML does not expect any marked effect on mortgage lending activity from the General Election.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders, who together undertake around 97 per cent of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.1 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.3 trillion. The data published by the CML reflects the mood of the UK housing market.
The mortgage lending in March, however, was 19 per cent lower than the £26.3 billion lent in March 2016r. The sharp fall in year-on-year lending was expected, as March last year saw significant rises in activity with borrowers rushing to beat the second property stamp duty deadline that came into effect from the beginning of April 2016.
Our gross estimate for March is £21.4 billion and this is broadly in line with average monthly lending over the past year. Within this aggregate level, there has been a shift towards first-time buyer and remortgage customers, away from home movers and buy-to-let landlords.