Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sept Gross Mortgage Lending In UK Down 10%

Source : The Business Times, October 21, 2008

(LONDON) Gross mortgage lending fell 10 per cent in September to the lowest level for any month since January 2005, hit by weak demand and the global financial crisis, Britain's Council of Mortgage Lenders said yesterday.

Banks and building societies loaned £17.7 billion (S$45.5 billion) in September, down 42 per cent from the same month last year. It was the lowest gross lending figure for September since 2001, the council said.

'The mortgage market is open for business,' CML director-general Michael Coogan said. 'But weakening consumer demand and ongoing funding restraints will dampen monthly lending figures for the rest of this year and into the first quarter of 2009.'

The gross lending figure for 2008 is expected to be around £255 billion, compared to £363 billion last year, he added.

Britain's economic growth ground to a halt in the second quarter, while inflation and unemployment are rising.

Asking prices for houses in England and Wales fell 4.9 per cent in October, according to separate figures released by property website Rightmove yesterday. -- Reuters

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