“Today’s figures from the CML give a rather mixed picture. On the positive side the number of first time buyers in February was not only higher than the previous month but was also 17.1% higher than this time last year suggesting such buyers are returning to the market which in turn will encourage others to think about moving.
“More negatively, the overall total number of loans at 37,900 was down on 38,200 recorded in January and this despite the Funding for Lending scheme. The number of home movers and remortgagers have both fallen in February so we are still not seeing a general recovery.
“However, the overall mood is more positive at present and it is important we see strong March figures to back this and give further momentum to the market. Today’s Item Club forecast is upbeat in terms of both prices and transactions on the back of continued government support. With prices still flat in most parts of the UK and low mortgage interest rates there are some grounds for optimism but clearly many would be buyers/movers are still in wait and see mode.”