The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that gross mortgage lending in November reached £12.9 billion, the highest level for a year and up slightly from October’s lending figure of £12.78 billion.
However, the figure was slightly down on November 2011’s value of £13.25 billion in gross mortgage lending.
The CML has also published its market forecasts for 2013-14 as well as a review of the past year based on interviews with mortgage lenders.
The CML said that there were more property transactions at higher gross and net lending levels in 2012 than was predicted at the start of the year. Repossessions were also significantly lower than forecast at 35,000 rather than 45,000.
The CML said that it expects there to be 930,000 transactions by the end of the year at a value of £144 billion, compared to its earlier forecast of 825,000 transactions valued at £133 billion of gross lending. Net lending was £9 billion compared to £8 billion forecast at the start of the year.
The CML says that although these transaction levels are well below the peak before the financial crisis of 2008, they do give reason for cautious optimism that the property market will pick up to an extent in 2013.
Looking ahead the CML predicts 950,000 property transactions in 2013, totaling £156 billion of gross lending and £12 billion of net lending. It expects transaction volumes and values to fall slightly in 2014 as the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) comes to an end.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell says that FLS has coincided with a more positive external funding environment and “given this more benign context, in our view the FLS now has the potential to underpin a modest pick-up in mortgage lending activity. A key test, however, will be the extent to which greater borrower appetite materialises in response to better credit availability."
The CML says it expects 930,000 transactions in 2014, valued at £150 billion with £11 billion of net lending.
Paul Smee, CML director general, said: "Our forecasts point towards a market that will both grow and improve in 2013.”
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