The UK property market is on track for a 'healthy and broad based' recovery, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). With gross mortgage lending remaining stable in August at an estimated GBP 16.6 billion - almost identical to July's GBP 16.7 billion figure - it is believed the sector is performing solidly. However, lending is still 28 per cent higher than August 2012 when GBP 13 billion was recorded.
Bob Pannell, CML chief economist, said: "We attribute much of this turnaround to the improvement in funding markets generally, and also to the Funding for Lending Scheme. The Bank of England's approvals data suggests that the positive tone for house purchase and remortgage lending will continue."
Mr Pannell is quick to silence claims of a possible housing bubble, stating such concerns are mainly a sign of the market's recovery, which in point of fact has been "fairly unexceptional in nature" to date, compared to the mid-1990s. However, the artificial inflation of prices through an increase in government-stimulated lending is still a fear of many, with experts believing the inability to get on the housing ladder was the only thing keeping a cap on prices.
However, Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, claims the mortgage sector is merely "fulfilling its side of the bargain" and supporting the UK recovery.
Consumers aren't concerned about overheating either. The Building Societies Association Property Tracker showed Britons are relaxed over a possible price bubble and just two per cent fear another crash. Instead, one in five describe the property market as recovering, while one per cent believe it's crashing. A fifth agree with the CML and claim the sector is now stable.
Property investment opportunities are also on the up as confidence returns and sellers enter the market. Combined with heightened demand, this is causing prices to rise and over 60 per cent of consumers expect values to travel upwards over the year. This is the highest percentage since the Property Tracker began in 2008.
- Monday 23 September 2013