January lending followed seasonal pattern: CML

There was a fall in both house purchase and remortgage in January, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has reported.

35,600 loans (worth £5.3 billion) were taken out for house purchase in January. This is a rise of 22% by volume and 23% by value from a year ago but a fall of 25% by volume and 24% by value on December 2011.

The CML claims this reflects the normal seasonal pattern where cold weather, lack of daylight and post-Christmas cash flow problems in January are likely to deter buyers from moving house.

January saw a fall in both the number and value of loans taken out for remortgage. 26,600 loans (worth £3.6 billion) were taken out, down from 28,200 (worth £3.5 billion) in December. R

emortgage lending experienced its first year-on-year fall since the end of 2010, with the number of loans down 13% and the value down 5% from January 2011.

The number of both first-time buyers and home movers in January increased from the year before but fell from December. The number and value of first-time buyer mortgages fell 30% from December but rose by 23% from January 2011.

Home mover numbers fell from 28,900 (worth £4.7 billion) in December to 22,400 (worth £3.6 billion) in January. Like first-time buyers, there was a significant increase in numbers from the previous January, when 18,600 home movers took out loans worth £3.1 billion.

For the last year, first-time buyers have borrowed on average 80% of their property and that was unchanged for January. The typical home mover borrowed 70% for the fourth month running.

First-time buyers continue to pay less of their income on mortgage interest, 12.2%, down from 12.3% in December.

Paul Smee, the CML’s director-general, said: “We traditionally see a substantial fall in lending figures at the start of the year