Mortgage lending to hit 10-year high as affordability improves

Mortgage lending will reach the highest level for 10 years this year, a white paper from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) predicts.

The paper, entitled ‘The new normal – prospects for 2017’ – predicts that gross mortgage lending will reach £260bn this year, 5.9 per cent higher than the £245bn reported by the CML for 2016.

The IMLA expects net mortgage lending to hit £45bn this year, the highest level recorded since 2007 suggesting the total stock of mortgage debt will grow by 3.4 per cent this year – slightly outpacing the growth of disposable income expected by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

IMLA says that the mortgage market has been resilient in the wake of the macroeconomic uncertainty resulting from the Brexit vote.

The body says that this is due to several reasons, including the imbalance between supply and demand within the housing market.

The paper predicts that the remortgage market will continue to be the most buoyant part of the market over the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. In total, IMLA expects remortgage lending to reach £90bn in 2017, 35 per cent of overall lending. In 2018, remortgage lending is forecast to grow to a total of £92bn. Over the past few years, rising housing equity and record low mortgage rates have encouraged growing numbers of borrowers to switch deals.

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