Muted improvement for May's property market

For sale sign

The number of loans for house purchases rose in May.

There were 41,500 loans advanced to homebuyers, totalling £5.9 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

While this was an increase in the number of loans compared to April, the value remained flat as the average loan was smaller.


However, year-on-year, the number of loans was down more than 5% on the 43,800 loans advanced in May 2010, which totalled £6.3 billion.

Lending to first-time buyers remained almost unchanged in May, with 15,900 first-time buyer loans advanced, compared to 15,800 in April.

Meanwhile, remortgaging activity picked up month-on-month in May, with 29,000 loans worth £3.6 billion advanced, compared to 24,700 loans worth £3 billion in April.

But despite the increase in remortgage loans, the level remained below the £4.1 billion recorded in March, the highest annual level since May 2010.

Michael Coogan, director general of the CML, says seasonal factors are likely to push up lending for house purchase over the coming months.

"There is no evidence of any drastic changes on the horizon or any significant shifts in direction for the mortgage market. These stable conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the year," he says.



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