Belfast Telegraph

Banks are optimistic of a growth in mortgage lending

By Vicky Shaw

Mortgage lending fell back in April - but banks and building societies expect to see a modest recovery in the coming months amid an "extremely competitive" choice of cheap home loans being offered to borrowers.

An estimated £16bn worth of mortgages were handed out in April, marking a 1% fall compared with the previous month as well as being 4% lower than the total value of home loans handed out in April 2014, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

Many mortgage lenders have slashed their rates to the lowest levels they have ever offered in recent months.

In the "market commentary" section of its website, the CML said that "a favourable economic backdrop and an end to electoral uncertainty should help to underpin a gentle housing market upturn".

Mohammad Jamei, an economist at the CML, said: "Although lending in April was fractionally down on the previous month and year, this followed a stronger March.

"Overall, we now seem to be on the cusp of a modest lending recovery. Household finances are generally improving."

Belfast Telegraph