The latest data and analysis from The Council of Mortgage Lenders has estimated that gross mortgage lending reached £20.1bn in May - a 12% increase on both April last month and on May last year, in which £17.9bn was advanced.
The CML’s buy-to-let forecast for 2017 and 2018 has been revised down from previous expectations at the end of last year, reflecting tax and prudential burdens in the housing and mortgage markets.
The CML now expects buy-to-let lending of £35 billion in 2017 and £33 billion in 2018, a decrease from £38 billion in each year, forecast in December last year.
Paul Smee, CML director general had this to say: “Re-mortgage activity and first-time buyers continue to drive lending this year. Looking ahead, we expect to see this trend continue, but not as strongly, as the factors supporting lending are blunted by less favourable economic conditions.
Buy-to-let had a weak start to 2017, and the sector’s contribution to overall net mortgage lending has fallen considerably over the last year.
While falling mortgage interest rates have helped support borrowing, tax and prudential measures are exerting pressure on the buy-to-let market. Following the distortion of the stamp duty change on second properties last year, we expected a slight recovery in lending levels. However, this has not materialised, and we therefore have lowered our forecast for buy-to-let lending this year and next.
This re-emphasises the case for avoiding further changes to the tax and regulatory framework until the effect of these already in train have been properly assessed.”