UK gross mortgage lending up 16% in June month on month

Taylor Scott International News

Gross mortgage lending in the UK reached £20.7 billion in June, some 16% higher than May’s lending total of £17.8 billion, and 3% higher than the £20.1 billion lent in June last year. The data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows that this is the highest June figure in eight years when gross lending reached £22.6 billion in 2008. Gross mortgage lending for the second quarter of 2016 was therefore an estimated £56.1 billion but this is 10% lower than the first quarter of this year, but 8% higher than the second quarter of 2015. ‘The result of the European Union referendum is likely to affect the housing market, but there remains considerable uncertainty,’ said CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei. ‘Although mortgage firms have ample lending capacity, activity levels are likely to bear the brunt of any market adjustment over the next six months or so, as buyers and sellers wait to get a clearer idea of where we might be headed,’ he explained. ‘But as with the economy, the UK housing market’s starting position is relatively favourable, with transactions having increased by almost 80% from post-crisis lows. Over the next six months, activity is likely to soften modestly, while lending will be driven more by remortgaging and less by house purchases,’ he added. ‘We also expect some form of monetary easing to be undertaken by the Monetary Policy Committee when it meets on 04 August, given the uncertain outlook that has set in after the vote result,’ he pointed out. According to John Goodall, chief executive officer of peer to peer platform Landbay, this spike in mortgage lending levels in June suggests both home buyers and sellers refused to sit on their hands in the run up to the EU referendum result. ‘The market has been something of a rollercoaster ride since the Stamp Duty stampede at the start of 2016, but while the mortgage market continues to find its new normal, its foundations continue to show strength,’ he said. ‘We’re yet to see the long term effects of the Brexit vote on market activity, but it’s clear that the UK’s housing shortage will remain the pivotal issue in defining the future health of the sector. Theresa May has made her political intentions clear for further housebuilding pledges, but must recognise the vital importance of the private rented sector in the housing mix,’ he pointed out. ‘Even with a radical programme to combat housing shortages, supply has a mountain to climb before it catches up with demand, so even a moderate house price correction would do little to hamper the UK’s reliance on the buoyant buy to let market,’ he added. Taylor Scott International

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