“The Bank’s latest Credit Conditions Survey confirms that 2013 ended on high, with lenders reporting improved availability of funding and continued rising levels of demand for both mortgages and remortgages. The government’s ongoing dedication to sparking movement in the property market has noticeably boosted consumer confidence and interest.
“With greater volumes of business being processed and arrears and repossessions continuing to decline, we have every reason to have high hopes for the market this year. The outlook is far stronger that it was twelve months ago and we are in far better condition to handle new regulations in April without impacting growth.
“The lack of housing supply is firmly established in the political headlights and today’s move by the Treasury to free up space for new homes is another encouraging step in the right direction. Action can’t come quick enough: the latest Halifax house price index shows house prices were 7.5% higher in the final quarter of 2013 than the previous year. It’s vital that pressure is relieved and this can only be achieved by building more homes.
“Levels of activity in the mortgage market will continue to climb in the opening months of 2014 as the second phase of Help to Buy boosts growing competition. There are also murmurs regarding a future rise in interest rates – and this will be bound to spur on some potential customers who are sitting on the fence. Lenders will remain vigilant to ensure buyers can afford their mortgage payments whatever the future holds.”