CML reveals rise in home loan figures

The number of loans approved for the purpose of buying a house rose in February, according to fresh statistics.

Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that the value of such loans remained constant at £3.1 billion, but the total number increased by four per cent to 24,300.

In addition, a seven per cent rise in loans granted to first-time buyers was recorded.

However, director general at the body Michael Coogan warned that further government action will be needed to stimulate the market and ensure a better flow of lending.

“We are not convinced that underlying trends have shifted sufficiently to change our forecasts for mortgage market activity in 2009,” he said, noting that this is still “at a very low level historically”.

The CML also revealed a rise in the proportion of mortgages being taken out a fixed-rate basis, something that may have been prompted by Bank of England base rate cuts.

Last week the Bank voted to hold the rate at 0.5 per cent, having reduced it in each of the six previous months.

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