By Claire West

Gross mortgage lending totalled an estimated £13.6 billion in July, a 5% increase from £12.9 billion in June but down 3% from £14 billion in July 2009, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The new data suggests that lending remains on track to meet our new revised forecast, published earlier this month, of £140 billion for the year as a whole.

In today's market commentary, CML economist Paul Samter commented:

"It is difficult to see anything other than a slow market for the rest of this year as underlying activity remains subdued. The rest of 2010 is likely to see rather lower lending and transaction numbers compared to the same period last year. Late 2009 saw a pick up as some home buyers looked to move before the end of the first stamp duty holiday.

"But for most home owners, the situation is not that bleak. The vast majority of households continue to pay their mortgages in full every month, and many have benefited from the record low interest rates. This looks set to continue for some time yet. While there are a range of risks to the outlook, low rates will further help most stay on top of their finances."