Opinion Former Article

CML: Stamp duty deadline boosts March lending for house purchase

Gross mortgage lending in March was an estimated £13.4 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This represents a 30% rise from £10.3 billion in February and a 17% rise from March 2011 (£11.4 billion).

This is the highest monthly total since September 2011 (£13.6 billion) and the highest monthly total for March since 2008 (£23.9 billion).

Gross lending for the first quarter of this year was therefore an estimated £34.4 billion, down from £37.8 billion in the previous quarter but a 13% increase from the first three months of 2011 (£30.3 billion).

In today’s CML market commentary, CML chief economist Bob Pannell comments:

"The increase in our March lending estimate appears to be almost entirely due to stronger house purchase activity. The most likely explanation is that buyers wanted to complete their transactions before the end of the stamp duty concession on 24 March.

"The underlying picture for house purchase activity has been relatively buoyant in recent months. However, we would be surprised if we did not see a drop in transactions over the next few months, following the end of the stamp duty concession, especially as it will take some while for NewBuy transaction levels to build."

DOCUMENTS ATTACHED

Gross mortgage lending table – March 2012

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.2 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.2 trillion.

2. The Council of Mortgage Lenders does not publish statistics for mortgage approvals. The data in our monthly Regulated Mortgage Survey and gross lending press releases relate to mortgage advances only. A mortgage approval is the firm offer to a customer of a specific amount of credit secured against a particular property. A mortgage advance is the total amount of loan actually provided to the buyer, by the lender.

3. Next month’s gross lending press release and market commentary will be published on 21 May 2012.



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Jayne Walters - 020 7438 8922

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