The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £20.4 billion in December. This is 4% lower than November (£21.2 billion), and 4% higher than December 2015 (£19.7 billion). This brings the estimated total for the year to £246 billion, a 12% increase on 2015’s £220 billion and the highest annual gross lending figure since 2008.
Gross mortgage lending for the fourth quarter of 2016 was therefore an estimated £62 billion. This is a 3% decrease on the third quarter and closely matches the 61.8 billion lent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei said “The UK housing market, much like the wider UK economy, ended 2016 on a generally positive note. Approvals for house purchase have recovered strongly of late, and this should feed through to lending figures in the early months of 2017. The current availability of mortgage credit is benign, and the real issue continues to be a dearth of properties on the market, which adds to the challenges facing would-be buyers. Uncertainty associated with political factors and prospective changes to the tax treatment of landlords will weigh on prospects for the year ahead.”