Belfast Telegraph

Mortgage lending jumps by one third

By Vicky Shaw

Mortgage lending in March was one third higher than the same month a year ago as housing market confidence continues to strengthen, banks and building societies have reported.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said an estimated £15.4bn worth of mortgages were advanced in March, marking a 33% increase on the same period a year ago. The latest figure is also a 4% increase compared with February.

Lenders have been preparing for toughened mortgage lending rules which are set to come into force next week, but the CML said that so far there were no signs that this was causing a big disruption.

From April 26, the new Mortgage Market Review rules mean lenders will have to investigate mortgage applicants' regular spending on outgoings more thoroughly.

They will also have to apply a "stress test" to make sure the borrower could still afford their repayments.

The latest mortgage lending figure for March brings the total amount advanced to borrowers in the first three months of 2014 to around £46.3bn – 37% higher than the same three-month period a year ago.

Belfast Telegraph