Gross mortgage lending statistics demonstrate the strongest performance in a long time. In particular, a report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders indicates that there has been an increase in gross mortgage lending to approximately £17.6 billion. This represents an increase of 9% from the previous month, and an increase of 37% from the previous year. We haven't seen such a total gross mortgage lending figure this substantial for five years.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders is comprised of banks and building societies. Its members include approximately 95% of all montage lenders in the UK, and the chief economist at the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts that we'll see a further strengthening of housing activity within the next months. Naturally, this will be good for economic growth.
CML's chief economist has also noted that some have speculated about an early rate rise as a result of both the increase in gross mortgage lending a sense of increasing optimism about the general direction of the economy. However, he was quick to disagree with this prediction - at least for now - noting that it doesn't give enough consideration to the MPC's desire to see a secure recovery before a decision is taken to raise rates.