“The Bank’s latest figures give us every reason to be optimistic about the coming year, as they show mortgage lending increased by £1.7bn in December and the number of mortgage approvals continued to rise. Although the number of remortgage loans remained reasonably static during this month, the number of house purchase loans, which now sits above 70,000, has nearly doubled over the past three years.
“The mortgage market is in a much stronger position now when compared to this time last year. Although improving economic conditions have aided this, no-one can deny the vast influence that government measures have had in stimulating lending and improving consumer sentiment. Help to Buy will sustain this momentum which is especially important as final preparations for the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) fall into place.
“We have every reason to believe that momentum will continue to build, especially as Governor Carney is taking a sensible, pragmatic approach to increasing interest rates. The Bank’s figures provide confidence that the mortgage market is strengthening but its long term health rests on how and when government support will be withdrawn, and what the market will look like when this happens.”