The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £17.8 billion in September. This is 1% lower than August (£18 billion), but 10% higher than September last year (£16.2 billion).
Gross mortgage lending for the third quarter of this year was therefore an estimated £55.5 billion. This represents an 8% increase from the second quarter of this year, and a 13% increase on the third quarter of 2013 (£49.2 billion).
CML chief economist Bob Pannell said that “Recent indicators and policy actions corroborate our view of a gentle easing in market conditions. There is growing evidence that mortgage lending activity, and the housing market, are sitting on a plateau.”
Andrew Montlake, Director at Coreco mortgage brokers comments, “We have definitely seen an easing over the past couple of months in mortgage lending and enquiry levels as buyers, especially in London, have become more reticent about paying some of the high asking prices that were prevalent before the summer. On top of this, remortgage activity has failed to take off as some predicted due to the expectation of future rate rises having been put back once more due to low inflation figures.
“There are also some extraordinary global issues spooking everyone at the moment which leads to a whole host of uncertainty; the strength of the global economy, return of Eurozone issues, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and Ebola to name but a few. This has led to stock markets across the world falling last week and oil battles have pushed prices to unexpected lows. All of this has an effect on borrowers perception and confidence.
“That said, as lenders try to hit their end of year targets and build up a pipeline for next year, this has led to a raging rate war which is pushing down pricing in the mortgage market to extraordinary lows once more. Whether pricing alone will have the effect of increasing mortgage transactions substantially remains to be seen and if lenders really want to attract more business then they have to start looking at criteria; mortgage prisoners, interest only, older borrowers, self-employed and contractors would be a start.”