What recession? Mortgage lending up by a fifth
Despite the fact that we’re all on the skids, queuing at food banks and living in rented hovels, there’s been a surprise rise in mortgage lending, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In May it hit the highest level since October 2008 - £14.7bn - leaving even lenders wondering WTF is going on.
Some say the rise in lending just be a freak incident, but others think that there’s a definite recovery going on in the housing market, thanks to government schemes like Funding for Lending, which offers funds to banks on the condition they lend them to out to people looking to buy homes or start businesses.
The housing market has also benefitted from the Help To Buy scheme, another government idea, which allows buyers to borrow money from the government and get a mortgage with just a 5% deposit.
Mortgage broker Mark Harris reckons it's onwards and upwards: ‘Recovery in the housing market is well underway. This comes as no surprise: finally, the pick-up in business that estate agents and mortgage brokers have been reporting since the start of the year is filtering through to the official figures.'
So does this mean that we can all get a mortgage, put up a ‘Dunroamin’ sign, stick a gnome in the garden and put our feet up for a bit?
Or could it simply be the start of a new government-sponsored housing bubble that’s going to pop and leave us covered in negative equity and despair?