By Claire West
Gross mortgage lending in November was an estimated £11.1 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This represents a 5% drop from £11.6 billion in October.
Reflecting the distortion in lending that arose towards the end of last year's stamp duty concession, the November figure is 10% lower than the £12.3 billion advanced in November 2009. As the lowest November total since 2000 (£10.9 billion), this is the fifth consecutive month where gross mortgage lending has been at its weakest since the equivalent month in 2000.
Bob Pannell, CML chief economist, commented:
"The fall in gross mortgage lending in November reflects the usual seasonal slowing of activity at this time of year, and reinforces the picture of a continuing flat market.
Comparisons with the year earlier are somewhat distorted, as some households brought forward house purchase activity into the closing months of 2009 to take advantage of the stamp duty concession. But both demand for mortgage borrowing and the supply of funds for lending remain heavily constrained.
"The CML market forecasts published last week suggest that gross mortgage lending in 2011 is likely to remain at similar levels to this year. We estimate gross mortgage lending for next year will total around £135 billion."