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Mortgage article 7:Mortgage lending sets a new record

Tuesday 21 May 2002

Mortgage lending reached a new peak in April when gross advances totalled 16.9 billion, according to the latest estimates from the monthly CML/DTLR Survey of Mortgage Lenders based on mortgage completions from both banks and building societies.

Lending rose from March's revised total of 16.1 billion, and was substantially higher than the 11.6 billion in gross advances recorded last April. The value of loans for house purchase declined slightly to 8.8 billion or 52% of gross advances (9 billion and 56% in March) but remortgaging once again grew strongly to a new record of 6.9 billion or 41% of advances (6 billion and 37% in March).

The number of loans for house purchase declined slightly to 108,000 in April, compared to 111,000 in March, but there was a modest recovery in lending to first-time buyers, which comprised 45% of the total (38% in March). The average rate of interest increased slightly last month, from 4.68% to 4.73%. The average variable rate rose from 4.43% to 4.56% but the average fixed rate fell from 5.27% to 5.12%.

Affordability for first-time buyers was similar to March, with advances averaging 79% of the property's value or 2.51 times income. Former owner-occupiers borrowed an average of 64% of the value of a property or 2.38 times their income.

Commenting of the figures, the CML's Director General Michael Coogan said
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