Mortgage lending plunges after Stamp Duty change – but April figure still highest since 2008

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £18.5bn in April.

This is 29% lower than March’s lending total of £26.2bn, but 16% higher than the £16bn lent in April last year.

It is the highest lending total for an April since 2008 (£25.3bn).

CML economist Mohammad Jamei said: “As we move past the Stamp Duty change that came into effect at the start of April, we expect to see a quieter second quarter, as some transactions that were due to take place were brought forward to the first quarter of this year.

“This is likely to mean that over the next few months buy-to-let takes a back seat as lending is driven by first-time buyers, movers and remortgage customers.

“The underlying picture still shows signs of growth, as the market remains underpinned by strong fundamentals such as increasing wages and rising employment.

“But it is possible that the uncertainty around the upcoming EU referendum in June will weigh on activity in the upcoming months.”

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