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New data published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders has highlighted a significant upturn in gross mortgage lending across the UK in March this year.
Rising to £25.7 billion during the month, the market saw a dramatic upturn of 43 per cent from February, while year-on-year growth in the sector stood at an equally (and perhaps more so) impressive 59 per cent.
As a result, the mortgage sector recorded its best March performance in almost a decade, with the highest March figure since 2007 - when gross lending reached £30.9 billion.
Overall, this significant increase means the CML has predicted that total gross mortgage lending for the first three months of the year will be above £62 billion - a figure that remains in line with activity witnessed during the final quarter of 2015, but which remains up by almost 40 per cent on the same quarter of last year.
Responding to the mammoth monthly increase in March, CML economist Mohammad Jamei argued that the significant jump in lending could be attributed to a widespread strengthening of the mortgage sector that has been seen since the start of 2016.
He added that a late surge in activity was also witnessed in the sector as a result of the government`s change in stamp duty for second properties, which came into effect at the start of April.
He noted that this was by far the biggest impact on total lending volumes of any recent stamp duty change, of which there have been many.
Looking forward, Mr Jamei believes the coming months will see less of a dramatic rise in overall lending volumes than were witnessed here, as the fallout from the shift in stamp duty could see as many as 1,000 fewer mortgage applications per month during the remainder of 2016.
That said, the future appears bright for the sector at present, as a strengthening economy and a welcome return to confidence among many British consumers serves to swell the number of people that are looking to invest in property up and down the UK.
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