Mortgage lending hits highest peak since financial crisis

Gross mortgage lending for the full year of 2016 hit the highest level since 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Mortgage lending hits highest peak since financial crisis

The CML estimates the total of gross mortgage lending for 2016 to have hit £246bn, a 12 percent increase on 2015’s £220bn and a peak since the credit crunch.

The trade body estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £20.4bn in December alone. This is four percent lower than November 2016 but and four percent higher than December 2015’s total of £19.7bn.

Mohammad Jamei, senior economist at CML, said: “The current availability of mortgage credit is benign, and the real issue continues to be a dearth of properties on the market, which adds to the challenges facing would-be buyers.

“Uncertainty associated with political factors and prospective changes to the tax treatment of landlords will weigh on prospects for the year ahead.”

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at technology solutions provider IRESS, said: “Estate agents also saw increased movement in December.

“Housing activity rose by eight percent on an annual basis and has surged 40 percent compared to the same period two years ago, according to Connells Survey & Valuation data.”