Mortgage lending up in February

There was an increase in lending to both first-time buyers and home movers in February, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The trade body’s latest figures show that 14,100 loans worth £1.7 billion were taken out by first-time buyers, up 8% by number and 6% by value from January and up 18% by number and 21% by value on February 2011.

Meanwhile, home movers took out 22,500 loans worth £3.7 billion, a 2% increase in number and a 3% increase in value from January and a 16% increase in number and 19% increase in value from February last year.

36,600 house purchase loans worth £5.4 billion were taken out in February. Again, this was an increase, up 4% by number and 2% by value from January and up 17% by number and 20% by value from February 2011.

Remortgaging continued to decrease in February. £3.3 billion was advanced, a 6% fall compared both to January 2012 and February 2011.

The CML said that 51% of first-time buyers bought properties priced between £125,000 and £250,000 in February, up from 49% in January.

February was the last full month of the stamp duty concession although the CML expects next month’s data to show a further rise in first-time buyer numbers as they moved to beat the 24 March deadline.

“It is encouraging to see the continuing year-on-year improvement in house purchase lending