Mortgage lending up again, says CML

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said that the level of mortgage lending was up again in December.

Last month, £13.7 billion worth of homeowner loans were agreed, a 14 per cent rise on November’s tally of £12.1 billion.

It was also three per cent up on December 2008, which is the first time since October 2007 that the level has been higher than the same month in the previous year.

CML economist Paul Samter remarked: “The December figure is surprisingly strong as there is typically a small decline in the month.”

He suggested that this could have been due to a surge of purchases as people rushed to beat the stamp duty deadline, with a consequent dip in transactions in early 2010.

However, this year is likely to see a much stronger housing market than 2009, Mr Samter concluded.

Commenting on the data, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents Peter Bolton King also suggested the stamp duty holiday influenced the situation.

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