UK mortgage market remains quiet, say lenders

Mortgage application form The mortgage market is generally quiet during the lead-up to Christmas

The quiet mortgage market continued in November with the number of loans advanced to people buying a home unchanged, an industry group has said.

Detailed data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) confirmed the market's relatively stagnant nature.

There were 44,000 loans provided for house purchases - the same as the previous month.

This was down 15% on November 2009 when some buyers were trying to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday.

The report also showed a 4% rise in the number of people remortgaging during November, with 26,000 loans advanced to people switching deals, although this was still 12% down on a year earlier.

And there was a slight rise in the number of first-time buyers entering the market, although this was also well down on a year earlier, with those getting onto the property ladder paying an average of a 20% deposit.

"It is encouraging to see credit criteria becoming a little more liberal for first-time buyers," said Michael Coogan, director general of the CML.

"But the funding and capital constraints on lenders will continue to exert a dampening effect on lending, and criteria are unlikely to loosen substantially."

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