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Mortgage lending seems to have bottomed out in 2010 after plunging from £362 billion at the top of the market in 2007 to £77 billion last year.
Although the figures for 2010 are are the lowest for more than a decade, banks and building societies expect the amount available for buying homes and remortgaging to stick at around 377 billion for 2011. They warn that first time buyers may still struggle as the best deals will go to borrowers providing large deposits and who can demonstrate perfect credit profiles.
Michael Coogan, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said: “2010 was about the mortgage market continuing to adapt to the post-credit crunch environment, and the full year data shows that the lending industry is now on a more stable footing but at historically low levels of activity.
“House purchase lending held up, and shows the market is open for business. However, it is still not serving all customer groups that may want to borrow, in particular those without a significant deposit.
“Access to funding for lenders is expected to stay under pressure this year, but it will now be matched by lower consumer demand due to the economic backdrop and a range of uncertainties which will impact the timing of borrowing decisions. We conclude that this will lead to gross lending levels in 2011 staying flat compared to 2010, with downside risks.”
Around 529,300 loans advanced for house purchase in 2010, worth £77.1 billion, an increase of 3% by volume and 11% by value compared with 2009. Loans for remortgage were at a 13-year low totalling 313,200, worth £39.3 billion, in 2010, down 23% by volume and 24% by value from 2009.
House purchase lending in 2010 accounted for 57% of all mortgage activity, up 9% from 2009, and loans for remortgage accounted for 29%, down 7% from 2009.
Figures for December show that the average first time buyer has a 23% deposit and a loan of 3.23 income.
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