The improving UK economy and jobs market, consumer confidence and competitive mortgage deals are expected to result in higher demand for mortgages this year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which published its Market Commentary on Tuesday.
Gross mortgage lending in the UK rose from a total of GBP143bn in 2012 to an estimated GBP177bn in 2013, as indicated by the CML data for mortgage advances.
On a monthly basis, UK gross mortgage lending was estimated at GBP17bn in December 2013, which was the same amount estimated for the gross lending total in November 2013. This was 49% higher than December 2012, which totalled GBP11.4bn and the highest December total since 2007.
During for the fourth quarter of 2013, gross lending was an estimated GBP52bn, the highest lending amount by quarter since quarter three of 2008 and an increase of 5% on the third quarter of 2013. It was also a 38% increase on the fourth quarter of 2012, which stood at GBP37bn.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell commented: “Short-term growth prospects for the housing market and the wider economy look very positive. Mortgage lending was stronger than we expected in the closing months of 2013, but lenders expect little if any boost to borrower demand this quarter.
He added: “While some of these gains reflect government schemes, the rationale for the positive narrative is a much broader one”
Members of the CML include banks, building societies and other lenders, which together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. A reported 11.2 million mortgages have been advanced in the UK, with over GBP1.2tn of credit being secured against properties.