Leeds property news: mortgage market bounced back in March

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The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £16.5 billion in March.

This is 21 per cent higher than February (£13.6 billion), and seven per cent higher than March last year (£15.4 billion).

Last month it said mortgage lending was down in February, when it estimated that gross mortgage lending reached £13.4 billion. That was a nine per cent drop on the previous year and was the lowest monthly estimate for gross mortgage lending since April 2013 when lending totalled £12.4 billion.

However, March figures appear to show the market springing back into a position of stability.

Gross mortgage lending for the first quarter of this year was therefore an estimated £44.9 billion. This represents a 12 per cent decrease from the last three months of 2014, and a three per cent decrease on the first quarter of 2014.

Commenting on market conditions, CML chief economist Bob Pannell observed: “The underlying lending picture is stabilising. Sentiment and activity are showing early signs of improvement, and should be further supported by the effects of stamp duty reform. We expect to see lending strengthen over the next few months, albeit from a relatively sluggish start in 2015.”

With David Cameron pledging to look after voters from the ‘cradle to the grave’ and with just one week to go to the General Election, property and home ownership has once again been thrust to the forefront of politics.

Bob added: “Challenges for first-time buyers remain a hot political topic, so today we update research showing how they have fared under successive governments. We also look at their future prospects.”