Stamp duty date boosts lending

First-time buyers rushing to beat the stamp duty deadline helped to push up mortgage lending by 10 per cent in January, marking the sixth-consecutive month of rises.

While borrowing fell by 14 per cent in December, gross mortgage lending rose to £10.5bn in January on the same month last year, said the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

It said: "The increase in lending helps support our view that housing and mortgage market activity may be boosted by first-time buyers seeking to complete deals before the stamp duty concession ends in March."