By Claire West

New data released from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed that lending in April was weaker compared to a year ago.

The data also uncovered that first-time buyers saw a decline in lending compared to March and April last year.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, comments: “It’s been an interesting year for the mortgage market, which has shown stability against all the odds. Last April saw the new MMR regulations come into play, whilst this April, we were anticipating the most uncertain election in a century. Against these headwinds, the lending recovery has been remarkably resilient. That stability is encouraging — signalling a potential sustainable long-term trend, rather than the volatile days of recent years.

“The proportion of lending to borrowers with smaller deposits is holding steady, as banks continue to support first-time buyers. Wage rises are starting to look healthier, while the cost of living remains low, meaning household finances are starting to finally put on some muscle. The threat of mansion tax has lifted, and several housebuilding initiatives are underway. Any remaining caution left from the run up to the election is dissipating, and lenders are optimistic that the summer will see the market stretch its legs and get into its stride.”