By Daniel Hunter

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending in August was £12.6 billion. This is marginally lower (1%) than July’s gross lending figure of £12.7 billion and a 4% fall from £13.1 billion in August 2011.

"House purchase activity continues to be a little above year-earlier levels, but the housing numbers are far from strong," CML chief economist Bob Pannell said.

"We expect to see stronger take-up of NewBuy over the coming months, helped by a concerted marketing effort by builders and the recently launched Funding for Lending Scheme, which has prompted reductions in NewBuy mortgage rates. Both factors should stimulate buyer interest.

"The Funding for Lending Scheme is a bold move that has the potential to greatly influence the course of the housing market over the next year or so. While not a panacea for all housing market problems, the scheme does offer the potential to improve the lending environment. Unfortunately, it will be towards year-end before any initial assessment of its impact can be reached."

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