August mortgage lending highest since 2008

Record number of mortgage products now available

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The Independent Online

Around £18.6 billion was lent in mortgages in August, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Although this is five per cent lower than July, it is 13 per cent higher than August last year and the highest figure for an August since 2008 (£19.3 billion). 

"The mortgage market may have paused for breath in August, but the recovery is still in full swing," said Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors. "However, it is patchy at best. Some areas of the country are operating on fast forward, but other areas are still at a standstill. The capital may be coasting along, yet regions like the North West are still operating in first gear."

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau said that MAB's data showed a record number of mortgage products were available in August.

"Lenders are tripping over themselves to offer preferential products, and with rates still remaining at record lows, now is the perfect time for many to get a foot on the property ladder," he said.

"Despite the holiday season heralding a slight slowdown in overall mortgage lending, we have still seen double digit growth in lending year-on-year, signalling strong enthusiasm from both lenders and consumers. The fact that this level of mortgage lending is the highest for an August since 2008 shows just how much lending conditions have improved for prospective buyers over the past year."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: "As we move into autumn, lenders have one eye on their year-end figures and are ramping up their lending volumes to meet them. Subsequently, there are some excellent fixed-rates available over two and five years so borrowers who are concerned about rate rises should act now to obtain some security."