Mortgage borrowing plunged in January, say lendersMake Text Bigger
Mortgages for homebuyers were down again in January, according to the major banks and building societies.
In January, banks and building societies advanced £4.2 billion in home loans to 28,500 buyers – down 29% from December for the amount borrowed and down 26% for the number of mortgages granted.
The lending figures come from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the industry body for all the UK’s main mortgage lenders.
Year-on-year, January 2011 was 13% down on money advanced (£4.83 billion) and 14% down on the number of loans (33,139) recorded in January 2010.
Several factors probably are blamed for the drop by lenders, including government spending cuts beginning to bite, rising inflation and tax increases putting pressure on household budgets.
CML director general Michael Coogan said: “Pressures on household budgets have been increasing both in terms of take home pay, and indirect tax measures such as the VAT increase and recent inflationary pressures, so we were expecting a fall in transactions early in the year, and a flat mortgage market underpins our forecasts for 2011.
“The bad winter weather and uncertainty over interest rate rises will have exacerbated the fall in lending in January, so it would be premature to draw any firm conclusions about activity levels over the next few months. The market remains stable at low levels of transactions.”
Remortgages were also down, but not so markedly. Around 22,100 homeowners borrowed £2.7 billion – down 6% on the amount and 7% by number of mortgages on December 2010.
First time buyers also struggled with their home finances in Janaury. The number of loans was down 28% from December to 10,500 and total borrowing fell 29% to £1.2 billion.
The average first time buyer loan was 80% loan-to-value and worked out at 3.12 times income.
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