Mortgage lending up more than a third

But new mortgage regulations could put a break on continued rise

Gross mortgage lending was an estimated £46 billion in the first three months of this year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, an increase of 37 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

In March alone, mortgage lending was an estimated £15.4 billion, four per cent higher than February and a third higher than March last year.

"There are currently no signs of significant market disruption, arising from the imminent application of new lending rules associated with the Mortgage Market Review," said CML chief economist Bob Pannell. "While some mortgage lending indicators have eased back gently, this is from the very high levels of recent months."

Simon Crone, Vice-President Europe at mortgage insurance provider Genworth said: "It will be intriguing to see the lending figures for the next few months as it is highly likely lenders will pull back on their lending levels as they seek to ensure their compliance with the new regulations plus the tighter affordability rules mean that a number of borrowers will not be able to access finance as they would have pre-MMR.

"For first-time buyers looking for mortgages in the next few months the market may not be accommodating as it was at the start of the year. First-timers still have considerable issues to overcome in terms of saving for a deposit and meeting these new criteria conditions from lenders."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: "The lending market continues to strengthen as a result of the combination of cheap finance and lenders with a real appetite to lend. With the MMR introduced next weekend, some borrowers will find the mortgage application process more protracted but with many lenders having already introduced the new rules, it should be a fairly smooth transition on the whole."

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors said Help to Buy is supporting the bottom of the market by making mortgages more accessible. "One in six loans are now to high loan-to-value borrowers," he said, "meaning it is now relatively easier for first-time buyers to tap into the property market.

"But the new MMR regulations will ensure that even as lending is increased, the recovery remains responsible. Borrowers will be stress tested to make sure they can afford future interest rate rises. Now wage growth has overtaken inflation, a base rate rise may happen sooner than originally thought. That will be the next big move for lending, and we may see a temporary slowdown as banks adjust to the new, tighter rules."

A report from Precise Mortgages shows that nearly a third of people believe access to mortgage is improving but is still not good enough, with two thirds still concerned about their ability to save a large enough deposit.

"The research presents an interesting conundrum," said Alan Cleary, Managing Director of Precise Mortgages. "On the one hand confidence has returned and this is being rightly celebrated across the industry but there appears to be a delay in this buoyancy filtering down to the consumer. Ultimately, the market is there to serve them and yet many of them feel unserved by lenders and concerned that access to the market is denied to them. 

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Co...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager - Part Time

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital agency based in Ashford, Ke...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Marketing Executive

£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent