By Daniel Hunter

There are signs that the market weakness of recent months may be coming to an end, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The CML's forward estimate is that total gross mortgage lending recovered to £12.9 billion in October. This would reverse the sharp dip reported for September, and imply that lending was 4% higher than the same month a year earlier.

"House purchase and remortgage activity both appear to have picked up recently, and this should be supported by an improvement in the availability and pricing of mortgages," CML chief economist Bob Pannell said.

"The Funding for Lending Scheme is likely to have made an early positive impact, helping to counter some of the negative pressures associated with a protracted and weak economic recovery."

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