Pace of home loans growth 'softer'

Updated: 

for sale signs

The pace of growth in mortgage lending remained subdued in June compared to the start of the year, figures from banks and building societies showed.

Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that an estimated £17.5 billion worth of home loans were handed out last month.


This was an increase on £16.8 billion in May and the highest monthly figure since October last year. It was 17% ahead of June last year, following a 13% year-on-year rise in May.

But it compares to a much more buoyant first four months of 2014, when year-on-year increases of more than 30% were recorded.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: "Mortgage lending continues to be well above year-earlier levels, but the pace of growth is certainly softer than earlier in the year."

Mr Pannell said recent Bank of England measures designed to guard against an overheating market could reinforce the effect of the Mortgage Market Review - tougher mortgage lending rules in force since April - in "tipping the UK towards a more conservative lending environment".

He added: "It is difficult to gauge the short-term direction for house purchase activity and mortgage lending more generally, given unknown regulatory impacts and uncertainty as to when the first in a series of interest rate increases will take place."

Official figures earlier this week showed annual house price growth running at 10.5%, the strongest pace since May 2010, and the average home costing £262,000. In London, annual growth was at a record 20.1%.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "There is substantial evidence therefore that housing market activity has - at least temporarily - lost momentum recently.

"This looks to be at least partly due to the introduction of new regulations under the Mortgage Market Review."