Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“In sharp contrast to the soaring pace of lending at the beginning of 2014, there was a notable cooling in the rate of lending in November, with house purchase lending down 12% on the previous month and lending to first-time buyers down by 11% in the same period. However, this is broadly in line with seasonal expectations, and year-on-year represented a fall of just 3%.
“The mortgage market faced a number of tough regulatory changes in 2014 that had the potential to significantly impact lending to consumers, so the fact that lending in November remained almost unchanged compared to the previous year is proof of the market’s resilience. Lending conditions in 2015 have already proved favourable for borrowers, with mortgage rates at record lows as the price war continues to gain momentum and the stamp duty changes announced in December further boosting demand.
“The CML’s outlook report for 2015 suggests that lending will continue to increase, although at a slower and more sustainable rate than in the previous year. Consumer demand is expected to remain buoyant, and a much smoother trajectory going forwards will help to keep conditions affordable.”