The number of residential mortgages originated in Great Britain rose 4% in February to 36,000, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), a British trade association. February's origination level was also 17% above the February 2011 volume.
The number of mortgages made to first-time buyers increased in February by 8% to 14,100 loans; February's levels were 18% higher than the February 2011 volume.
‘It is encouraging to see the continuing year-on-year improvement in house purchase lending,’ says Paul Smee, CML director general. However, Smee warns that the near future may be clouded due to uncertainty over changes in the British government's housing policy, including the termination of a property tax exemption for first-time home buyers and the newly launched NewBuy program to promote homeownership, even if the borrower cannot put forward an appropriate down payment.