The number of people taking out mortgages in London picked up towards the end of the year as the capital recovered from a slow start to 2015, according to the latest data published this week by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
According to the CML figures, which covers the final three months of the year, there were some 21,800 home owner house purchase loans approved in the last quarter of 2015. This was slightly down on the three months prior, which were very strong, but still represented an increase of some four per cent when compared to the same period a year before.
In the same three months, the CML report shows that there was a total of £6.7 billion loaned to people who were buying homes. This was an impressive 16 per cent higher than the same quarter in 2014.
First-time buyers made up almost half of this quarterly lending total, with £3.2 billion being afforded to those who were getting themselves onto the property ladder for the first time. This was up by 11 per cent when compared to the same period in 2014. The volume of first-timer loans was also up by one per cent year on year.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said the latter stages of the year showed good recovery for London, after a persistent supply and demand issue had slowed lending in the early part of 2015.
"House purchase lending in London fell in 2015 due mainly to a slow start. Later months of the year saw activity pick up again. Persisting supply and affordability issues, alongside the introduction of the Help to Buy London scheme, means there will be some uncertainty around how the market will perform going into 2016," he said.
"By contrast, remortgage activity, which has been consistently flat for the past few years, appears to be on an upward trend. Competitive mortgage rates appear to have sparked this activity and we have not seen quarterly volumes at this level since 2009."