Mortgage lending fell in April, but remains higher year-on-year

by Gary Whittaker

The mortgage market is still performing stronger in 2017 than it did last year, but monthly lending has slipped in the months ahead of the general election, continuing to do so in April, according to a new report. 
In the findings from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), it was reported that in April, overall, buyers borrowed a total of £9.6 billion. This represents strong growth when compared to the same time last year, with lending up by 19 per cent when compared to April 2016. However, it also means there has been a fall month-on-month, with lending down 14 per cent from the end of March. 
First-time buyers' share of the market is experiencing similar trends at the moment. While the £4.1 billion share attributed to this group is a full 16 per cent higher than at the same time last year, it was lower than March's total by some eight per cent. 
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, pointed out that the market may currently be experiencing a slowdown. He added that looking at the market compared to April last year could be a false economy, because that was when new Stamp Duty rules came into play for the buy-to-let market, putting a halt to investment from landlords for a short period of time. This dramatically dropped mortgage lending figures for April 2016, which makes the same month this year look fantastic in comparison. 
However, he did go on to say that over the next few months, there are signs that certain areas of the UK property market could still be performing well. 
"We expect the market to remain slightly lopsided. Buy-to-let and home movers may well remain subdued, as they have been for the last six months. But both first-time buyer and remortgage lending should maintain momentum on the coattails of the attractive deals available," said Mr Smee. 
On top of the lower lending to owner occupiers in April, data shows that buy-to-let owners are still highly active in the market. According to the CML, these buyers now account for as much as two-thirds of the overall mortgage market. 
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14-June-17General Lettings News