“Despite the lower year-on-year figures for gross lending in January, we can take heart in the relative strength of house purchase activity compared to remortgage business. With lending to homebuyers making up an increasing proportion of the total amount, it shows that the appetite for risk is returning – as seen in the overall growth of first-time buyers during 2012.
“Despite the economic headwind, lenders are finding new and innovative ways to help people gain a foothold on the property ladder. Forward-thinking products are emerging from a number of lenders including for example the Lloyds Banking Group’s ‘Lend a Hand’, Nationwide’s ‘Save to Buy’ and Barclay’s ‘Family Springboard’ mortgages and should encourage more potential buyers to engage with the market.
“On top of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), the expected announcement of the Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) backed mortgage programme will also encourage further lending at high loan to values (LTV) and means the future prospects for mortgage lending continue to look bright.”