The mortgage market is experiencing "strong upwards momentum" and gross lending may top £200bn for the first time in seven years in 2015, but there is little evidence of a housing boom developing, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The recovery in the housing market is welcome but has come from a low base, it said, adding stretched household finances, regulation and expected increases in interest rates may see market activity "ease back of its own accord".
Years of historically-low interest rates and take-up of the government's Help to Buy scheme, which seeks to make more home loans available to borrowers with small deposits, have fuelled concerns of a property boom.
But, while the CML said its market forecasts for the next two years are positive, it does not foresee prolonged activity leading to an "unbridled" boom, particularly as transactions and real house prices remain well below pre-peak levels.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney said on Monday the Bank of England will act to prevent the market growing at "warp speed".
Concerning the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which comes into force from next April and will place new obligations on lenders, the CML said it did not expect the "brakes to slam on" in the spring, though it anticipates "some wobbles" in the monthly pattern of lending figures at that time.
"The new affordability rules are designed to lean against the irrational exuberance that has characterised previous housing market booms, and we should expect them to help prevent a full-blown housing boom developing over time," the CML report read.
It said it had a "less alarmist" view of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme than some commentators, and challenged their assertion that it could prompt several hundred thousand transactions over the next three years.
"Our instincts are that sustainable volumes may be much lower, given that the overall financial position of households is unclear, and that CML research earlier this year illustrated that the scheme would not represent a panacea for borrowers," it said.
>Read IFAonline's final MMR rules condensed HERE <
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