Industry hopes rise as secured loans double since November last year

Net mortgage lending was up to £1 billion in August, the highest level since February , according to mortgage approvals data from the Bank of England.

The number of mortgages fell slightly, standing at 52,317 in August from 52,404 in July, the first fall in eight months. However, secured loans granted by lenders have doubled since the low point in November of last year.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said he was encouraged by the numbers: “Significantly, net lending rebounded during the month as the level of mortgage repayments slipped back from the July high,” he said. “Although net lending is still way down on pre credit crunch levels, it is re-assuring that the negative reading recorded in July proved to be a one-off.”

However, Paul Samter, economist for the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicted a “subdued” market going forward: “Housing market activity has flattened off, but remains stable and well above the very low levels seen a year ago.

“The weak economy and limited capacity to lend is continuing to restrict further improvement and we expect lending to remain subdued.”