Gross mortgage lending was an estimated £16.6bn in April, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), whose members account for 95% of all residential mortgage-lending in the UK. This is 8% higher than March's gross lending total and 36% higher than April last year (£12.2bn) and the highest total for an April since 2008 (£25.7bn), when lending was almost 55% higher than today.
Commenting on market conditions in this month's report, CML chief economist Bob Pannell says: "The implementation of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) from late April has made it a little harder to interpret recent data. As we have pointed out previously, there may be some disruption to the monthly pattern of activity while MMR procedures bed down."
As part of the MMR, the Financial Conduct Authority now asks lenders to intrude deep into borrowers' financial lives to establish whether they can afford to service debt. Lenders must also conduct stress tests to ensure borrowers could survive hefty interest rate rises.
Despite these changes, Lloyds Banking Group, the UK's biggest mortgage provider, which also owns Halifax, announced on the 20th of May that it will not lend any more than four times annual income on loans over £500,000.