Mortgage lending up 27 per cent in March, study reveals

As many as 61,700 mortgages were approved in March, as lending to home buyers jumped by 27 per cent month-on-month, a new study reveals.

Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) suggests that first-time buyers were granted 30 per cent more loans in March than during the previous month, with more than half of all loans (31,500) handed out to people taking their first step on the property ladder.

Meanwhile, the number of mortgages advanced to home movers (30,200) rose by 24 per cent month-on-month, but was down by 28 per cent on an annual basis.

Re-mortgaging activity was up by 14 per cent, while buy-to-let activity rose by eight per cent, the report reveals.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “Overall, lending trends have remained reasonably consistent. The relatively sluggish activity among home-movers stands in contrast to the growth in first-time buyer and re-mortgage activity, but in aggregate the market is showing broadly the levels of activity we expected.

“As we head into the summer, we expect a continuation of these trends, with both first-time buyer and re-mortgage lending expected to maintain momentum in the light of the very attractive deals currently available.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgages, added that it was “encouraging” to see “a growing number of borrowers taking control of the mortgage market by reaping the financial rewards of historically low mortgage rates.”

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.