Gross mortgage lending was £16.9bn in December - 20% higher than in December 2004 and the highest December total on record, according to the latest British Bankers' Association figures.
The £16.9bn figure is 6% lower than November’s total of £18bn but 20% higher than the £14.2bn in December 2004.
Seasonally adjusted net mortgage lending (gross lending minus repayments and redemptions) rise by £5.4bn, compared with £5.2bn in November and £4.7bn in December 2004.
The BBA says this was the strongest increase since June 2004 and compares with an average of £4.6bn over the previous six months, maintaining an annual growth rate of just below 12%.
There were 140,866 mortgage approvals for all purposes in December with a total value of £14.3bn. Although the number of approvals was 27% lower than in November, it was 5% higher than in December 2004.
Compared to the same month a year earlier, December’s approvals for house purchase loans were 28% higher by number and 45% higher by value; remortgaging loans were 3% higher by number and 14% higher by value; and equity withdrawal loans were 16% lower by number and 12% lower by value.
The average approval for house purchase rose to £134,400. In 2005 as a whole there were 2,153,000 mortgages approved valued at £198.4bn, compared with 2,425,000 in 2004 valued at £189.0bn.
David Dooks, BBA director of statistics, says: “Weaker mortgage lending in the first half of 2005 led to annual totals generally weaker than in 2004, but gross lending and loans approved for house purchase finished the year on an upward trend, after allowing for seasonal factors.
“The equity withdrawal market has weakened noticeably, with fewer loans approved in December than in any month since April 2000.”IFAonline
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