Mortgage lending hits 11-month high in June

Elizabeth Judge

Mortgage lending rose by 23 per cent in June, further bolstering hopes of an upturn in the battered British housing sector.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that the number of loans made to homebuyers hit an eleven-month high of 45,000 in June up from 36,500 in May.

The value of loans made surged 26 per cent on May, to £5.9 billion.

Paul Samter, economist at the CML, said there had been a “welcome increase in transactions” helped by low interest rates and “realistic” selling prices.

He added though that there was “some way to go before we reach normal levels of activity.”

The number of loans made is now at its highest level since last July when it totalled 47,000.

Separate figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLM) showed an improvement in the decline in house prices.

The Government figures revealed that British house prices fell 10.7 per cent in June compared to last year, down from a 12.7 per cent drop in the previous month.

The more upbeat data is the latest in a spate of more robust data about the property sector.

Last week, official figures revealed that the decline in activity in the construction sector had eased to its slowest pace since the recession began.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply/Markit construction purchasing managers’ index showed that about 19 per cent of builders reported a rise in activity in July while 23 per cent said activity fell. The resulting, seasonally adjusted balance of 47 was the highest reading since March 2008, although it remains below the critical 50 mark which indicates that activity is rising.

Taylor Wimpey, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, also reported last week that losses over the six months to June had more than halved and that conditions had improved “significantly.” (Elizabeth Judge, The Times) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6791094.ece

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