Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), commented on the latest lending trends:
“After a brief cooldown in November, residential purchase lending picked up again in December. Over the past 12 months purchase lending has increased across the board, and there is still plenty of appetite among lenders and borrowers alike. Borrowers have certainly benefited from very competitive rates, boosting affordability for those meeting lenders’ criteria. With the base rate going nowhere fast, consumers will continue to reap the benefits of low rates for some time.
“Lending to remortgagers fell in December, which is to be expected given the time of year. Low rates and high levels of homeowner equity mean remortgage lending is unlikely to stay subdued for long, with many homeowners in a strong position to access better deals.
“As house prices rise it is important that lending grows in order to keep the market inclusive.
“It’s disappointing that the total number of first-time buyer loans last year remained unchanged from 2014, and many face difficulties in getting on the property ladder – especially in areas like London and the South-East where prices are rising fastest. Government and industry must work together to ensure that new buyers are catered for, and that limited housing supply is addressed.”