Belfast Telegraph

Mortgage lending is up again on last year

By Vicky Shaw

Uk mortgage lending is higher year-on-year for the seventh month in a row, as first-time buyers race to take advantage of a stamp duty concession before it ends.

Around £10.7bn was lent in February, a 14% rise on the same month in 2011, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said, with the two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers purchasing homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000 ending this Saturday.

The deadline has prompted a surge of interest, according to lenders and estate agents, who have called for the holiday to be extended.

The latest lending figure is "almost identical" to the previous month, when £10.65bn was lent, as lending for house purchase remains "brisk" ahead of the withdrawal of the concession, the CML said.