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Miror - Lending At Nine-year Low

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Mortgage lending has slumped to a nine-year low.

The number of people taking out new loans to move home dropped to 50,300 in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

That was down a third on the previous January's total of 89,000 and 20 per cent down on December 2007.

The figures came the day after research showed house prices falling in many parts of the country at their fastest since 1978. That report, by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "Sellers are having extreme difficulty finding buyers."

The CML figures will do nothing to lighten the mood of estate agents as it suggests a further sharp slowdown in the housing market.

Cml director general Michael Coogan blamed the credit crisis which led to the downfall of Northern Rock, and which has made banks and building societies much more wary of who they lend to.

Lenders are also insisting buyers have bigger deposits, making it far more difficult for first-time buyers.

Other buyers are nervous about trading up at a time of falling prices.

People buying a home collectively borrowed £7.8billion during January, the lowest total since February 2005 and almost a third down on the £9.4bn of a year ago.

The figures pile pressure on the Bank of England to cut interest rates again.

And a growing number of homebuyers clearly believe they will as the appetite for fixed-rate loans has dived.

Just 57 per cent of new loans in January were on fixed rates - 20 per cent down on June last year.

Good as gold

The County Homesearch Company names six "golden postcodes" where buyers can't lose. They are:

1. Castle Street, Bakewell, Derbys

2. Ann Street, Edinburgh

3. Beeston Fields Drive, Nottingham

4. Lexden Terrace, Tenby Pembs

5. St Georges Hill, Weybridge, Surrey

6. Rotherfield Road, Henleyon-Thames, Oxon

We Say: IT is dangerous to pin too much on one month's figures. It is also simplistic to talk about one property market.

There are lots of different markets - some shrivelling, some resilient - across the country. But if estate agents admit things are bad there must be some cause for alarm.

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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