Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Mortgage lending sees 'seasonal dip'

For Sale signs
Mortgages are becoming more affordable, the CML says

There has been a "seasonal dip" in mortgage lending, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The number of new mortgages granted to home buyers fell to 53,000 in November, a 4% drop from the previous month.

However, reflecting the upward trend seen for most of last year, the figures were still 66% higher than in November 2008.

The CML said first-time buyers were still having to put down an average deposit of 25% of a property's value.

But with interest rates still at historically low levels, the CML noted that the level of income that home buyers had to devote to mortgage interest repayments was at its lowest for more than five years.

"It is encouraging to see that mortgage interest payments are so affordable for home movers and first-time buyers," said the CML's director general Michael Coogan.

"But with substantial deposits still needed to secure a mortgage, the market will continue to be relatively restrained for some time to come," he warned.

The CML's latest data, suggesting a recent slowdown in the property market, chimes with that published earlier this week by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Its survey suggested that the pace of house price increases slowed in December.

Not all house price surveys are pointing in the same direction.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) found this week that UK property prices rose by 1.7% in November, leaving them 0.6% higher than in November 2008.



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