Five year highs for lending in Wales and Scotland

First-time buyer lending up nearly a third year-on-year in London

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The Independent Online

New figures out today show that house buying lending in Wales is at its highest for the July-September period since 2007, in Scotland since 2008, and in Northern Ireland  since 2009.

The  report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows that first-time buyer figures in Wales continued to rise, with more receiving loans between July and September this year 2013 than any three month period since 2007.   

Scotland also saw first-time buyer and other home mover levels increase, with overall home-owner lending for house purchase increasing by 23 per cent year-on year.

Iain Malloch, chair of CML Scotland, said: “It is encouraging to see the Scottish market returning to normal lending levels as economic conditions improve. As with the rest of the UK, it is important to note lending is still only just above half the levels seen during the peak of the market so talk of increased lending over-heating the housing market may be premature.

"In the early part of the year, the market was being driven by first-time buyers. It is welcome now to see home mover and remortgage lending showing increased levels after a period of stagnation suggesting the upward trend will continue into the new year.”

A total of 2,800 loans worth £240m were made for house purchase in Northern Ireland, over this three month period, an increase of 22 per cent compared to both the previous three months and the same time last year. Loans to first-time buyers were up 20 per cent compared to last year.

Mortgage lending in London followed a similar upward trend to the rest of the UK. The 13,100 loans made to first-time buyers in London between July and September marked an increase of 24 per cent on the previous three months and a rise of 32 per cent compared to the same time in 2012.

First-time buyers make up a larger proportion of house purchase loans in London, 55 per cent compared to 44 per cent in the UK overall.

"The increase in lending for house purchase in London seems broadly consistent with UK-wide upward trends," said CML director general Paul Smee. "First-time buyers were the key driver in the first half of the year in London but remortgagors and home movers have shown greater signs of life this quarter."