Mortgage lending enjoys a healthy month

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Mortgage lending was buoyant in September, with the first-time buyer and buy-to-let markets seeing an increase in activity.

Home loans advanced to people getting their first foot on the property ladder were up on both a monthly and an annual basis.

There was a similar story with buy-to-let, with increases in both the purchase and the remortgage markets.

It was a slightly different situation in the movers’ market, though, where there was a dip in lending compared with August – but even here there was growth from a year earlier.

“The market was a slow starter this year, but this quarter shows it is now firmly on an upward trajectory,” says Paul Smee, director-general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

“With competitive rates and high levels of product choice currently available, alongside generally improving economic conditions, we expect this to continue as we head into the new year.”

However, Rob Weaver, of Property Partner, is less bullish about the state of the economy.

“The growth in buy-to-let lending underlines the continued confidence UK investors have in this asset class,” he says.

“As an asset class, buy-to-let is also benefiting from the growing concern about the state of the global economy. It is seen as a safe port in a storm.

“A poll we ran recently showed that nearly four in five respondents said the UK is vulnerable to current global market and economic conditions, driven primarily by a rapidly slowing Chinese economy and sluggish Eurozone.

“This fear was underlined yet again this week by the credit rating agency Moody’s, and I suspect buy-to-let as an asset class will continue to benefit as the global shockwaves from China ripple out.”

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