Kensington confident of mortgage growth

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The Independent Online

Kensington Group, the mortgage lender, reported bumper profits yesterday as borrowers took advantage of record low interest rates.

John Maltby, the chief executive, was confident yesterday that this growth in the mortgage sector would continue, despite expectations that interest rates are set to rise.

"We have had record levels of growth in the housing market and growth will continue as we still have low inflation, low unemployment and a shortage of housing. But even if interest rates go up by 1 per cent, it won't have much of an impact for our borrowers. We have kept the multiples that we lend at an average of 2.5 times earnings so our mortgages should still be affordable," Mr Maltby said. The company reported that profits before tax were up 23 per cent to £37m. Kensington now has £3.1bn of mortgage assets under management, a 63 per cent increase over the year, and the board has decided to double the final dividend to 7p.

New business in December was up 38 per cent on December 2002 and there was £400m of new mortgage lending in the pipeline, an increase of 35 per cent.

Kensington lends money to customers who have difficulty in securing loans from mainstream lenders.