By Daniel Hunter

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that total gross mortgage lending increased to £17.6 billion in October, representing a rise of 9% from £16.2 billion in September and 37% higher than the total of £12.9 billion in October last year. This is the highest monthly estimate for gross lending since October 2008 (£18.6 billion).

Commenting on market conditions in this month's Market Commentary, CML chief economist Bob Pannell observes: “Housing activity is set to strengthen further in the short-term, and to contribute materially to overall economic growth.

“Combined with the Bank of England’s recent optimism about the economy, this has led some commentators to speculate that an early rate rise may be on the cards. We do not currently share this view, which we believe underplays the importance that the MPC attaches to a secure recovery before raising rates."

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