ìWelcome signs of lifeî in UK housing market

The UK housing market has shown signs of improvement recently as lending figures for August increased, official figures have revealed.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), a grand total of 52,000 home loans were advanced for house purchases in August, a rise of 7% since July.

Remortgaging also increased by 30% in August 2011 compared to the previous year, and a total of 34,100 loans were taken out.

Lending for first time buyers and home movers was at its highest rate for over a year and 96% of first time buyers in August took out a repayment mortgage. The number of FTBís increased by 5% from August 2010 to July 2011.

“Even though it is impossible to ignore the knocks to confidence emanating from the Euro zone, August lending showed welcome signs of life,î said Paul Smee, Director General of the CML.

The new figures show signs of life in the UK housing market after a turbulent few years. However, there is still little indication that the housing market will return to pre-recession levels.

Recent research from Halifax bank suggested that the housing market was ìlacking directionî. House prices fell in September by 0.5% and have continued to fall on last yearís prices.

The Halifax research found a ìvery mixed pattern of monthly price movements.î

The average house price for September was lower than in December 2010 on a seasonal adjustment of £161,132.

Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at Halifax commented; ìGreater uncertainty about economic and personal financial circumstances, together with pressure on householders’ finances from weak earnings growth, higher inflation and increases in taxes, are likely to be constraining housing demand.î

With the base rate remaining at an all time low, borrowers can benefit from paying very little back in interest. Now could be a good time to take out a mortgage.

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