Belfast Telegraph

Tougher rules fail to halt rise in mortgages

By Vicky Shaw

Mortgage lenders have reported that July was their strongest month since August 2008, in signs that activity remains "robust" despite new stricter rules being imposed over the way home loans are handed out.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders said mortgages with an estimated worth of £19.1bn were advanced in July, marking the highest monthly figure seen since loans with a total value of £19.3bn were handed out in August 2008.

The July lending estimate is 7% higher than the month of June and 15% above the total amount of mortgage lending in July 2013.

The stronger lending figure comes despite toughened mortgage lending rules which came into force at the end of April, which mean mortgage applicants have to provide more evidence to back up what they say about their spending habits so that lenders can check whether they can truly afford their mortgage payments.

Lenders also have to apply "stress tests" to make sure payment would still be affordable as and when interest rates increase, under the new Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules.

Belfast Telegraph