Figures still represent first year-on-year rise since August

Gross mortgage lending has fallen 13% between December and January, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

In December the figure for gross mortgage lending stood at £10.6bn, but this had fallen back to £9.2bn last month.

It was not all gloom however, as the January total was still 5% higher than the £8.8bn figure recorded during January 2010. This represents the first year-on-year increase since August 2010.

Comparisons with last year however should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the stamp duty concession encouraged some people to bring forward house purchase activity before it expired at the end of 2009 .

Commenting on the figures in the CML market commentary, economist Peter Charles said:

“As a greater degree of equilibrium is restored to financial markets, the availability of funding for mortgage lending should improve from current levels to support more normal levels of activity.

“However, the unprecedented expansion of wholesale funding, and hence mortgage lending, experienced in the mid 2000s is unlikely to return.”