The CML’s lending forecasts for 2017 have been revised downwards from the previous expectations of a year ago, reflecting economic uncertainties as well as new tax burdens and regulatory changes in the housing and mortgage markets. The CML now expects gross lending of £248 billion in 2017 and £252 billion in 2018, with net lending of £30 billion in each of those years.
Commenting on market conditions and prospects, CML director general Paul Smee said: Overall, the mortgage market remains resilient but is likely to plateau rather than grow much for the next couple of years. Gross lending is likely to hover around the £250 billion mark in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Property transactions look set to drift down slightly, although we do not expect house prices to fall, and net lending seems unlikely to get above £30 billion next year.
The housing market is relatively well insulated from direct Brexit effects as most activity is driven domestically, but it is not immune from more generalised economic uncertainty. And we expect any modest strengthening in home-owner lending to be rather offset by a less active house purchase market in buy-to-let, as both tax and regulatory changes bite on landlords.