The UK housing activity continues to remain healthy with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimating mortgage lending to have reached £20.1 billion in May.
The mortgage lending activity witnessed last month is 12 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2016. In fact, lending activity has grown the same (12 per cent) month-on-month from April to May 2017.
The data provided by CML reflects the market activity, as house-buyers continue to purchase homes of their choice. 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.
According to CML, first-time buyers continue to drive mortgage lending activity, as many young working professionals move up the housing ladder in the UK.
In view of tax-related issues and other developments, the CML has downwardly revised its mortgage lending activity forecast for two years. The CML now expects buy-to-let lending of £35 billion in 2017 and £33 billion in 2018, a decrease from £38 billion in each year. Nevertheless, house-buying activity will continue to grow at a healthy rate considering the dwindling number of homes entering the market in the UK.
CML director general Paul Smee said: Remortgage activity and first-time buyers continue to drive lending this year. Looking ahead, we expect to see this trend continue, but not as strongly, as the factors supporting lending are blunted by less favourable economic conditions.