Credit crunch blamed as monthly lending levels drop below previous year's level for first time since July 2005

The credit crunch is being blamed for an 8% fall in mortgage lending in November.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that lending had fallen to £30.7bn for the month, which was 8% lower than October and also 8% lower than lending in November 2006.

Michael Coogan, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said that the fall in lending was due to the lack of available funding rather than the lack of consumer demand

The CML said it was the first time that monthly lending levels have dropped below the same month in the previous year since July 2005.

Coogan predicted more subdued lending figures in the new year. “As we had forecast, lending in November dipped below its 2006 equivalent for the first time this year and we expect this trend to continue into 2008."