Belfast Telegraph

Home loan demand hits 10-year low in 'heavily constrained' environment

Mortgage lending fell to its lowest level for November for a decade as demand remained "heavily constrained", figures showed.

A total of just £11.1bn was advanced during the month, 5% less than in October and the lowest figure for November since 2000, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

It was the fifth consecutive month during which total advances were at their lowest level for that month for a decade, the group said yesterday.

Lending during November was also 10% down on the £12.3bn that was advanced in the same month of 2009.

The CML said the steep year-on-year fall reflected the distortion to the market caused in 2009 by the looming end of the Government's stamp duty holiday, which caused people buying properties costing up to £175,000 to rush through sales before the end of the year.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: "The fall in gross mortgage lending in November reflects the usual seasonal slowing of activity at this time of year, and reinforces the picture of a continuing flat market.

"Comparisons with the year earlier are somewhat distorted, as some households brought forward house purchase activity into the closing months of 2009 to take advantage of the stamp duty concession. But both demand for mortgage borrowing and the supply of funds for lending remain heavily constrained."

The CML expects mortgage advances to total £135bn in 2011.