UK housing market picks up as mortgage lending rises 6%

London property

There was a 6% increase in the number of loans taken out for house purchases in November, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed today.

The rise in house purchase activity during the month was driven by the first-time buyer sector but there was also an increase in people moving home.

According to the CML, house sales have been rising steadily since the end of the summer, boosted by the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which aims to support activity in the housing market by ensuring the availability of credit and lowering its cost.

Other recent surveys have also pointed to an uptick in activity. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported yesterday that chartered surveyors’ expectations for house sales in the coming three months have risen significantly.

Across the UK last month 24% more surveyors predicted that transactions would rise rather than fall over the next quarter. RICS said that this more positive outlook in the industry comes at a time when confidence has been growing that the market in some parts of the country may now be over the worst.

House prices held steady during December – the first time since June 2010 that the national price balance has not been negative – and prices are forecast by RICS to rise by 2% during 2013.

Homeowners are also optimistic about prices rising this year, Zoopla.co.uk has said. A survey by the property website shows that around 65% think that UK house prices will rise over the next six months, up from 55% a year ago. On average, homeowners expect property prices to rise by 3.2% over the next six months.

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