Mortgage lending falls in January

The number of loans taken out by people looking to buy a house in Edinburgh, West Lothian and elsewhere in the UK fell in January, according to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Data from the CML indicates that a total of 50,300 loans were taken out, reflecting a fall of 34 per cent from the same month in 2007.

In first-timer buyer activity, such debtors typically took out loans for 88 per cent of a property’s value in January, down from 90 per cent in December and January 2007.

Director general of the CML Michael Coogan comments: "The wholesale funding markets remain largely closed and mortgage funding still remains constrained."

Commenting on the data, Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, states that any increase in the stamp duty threshold in the Budget will provide Scottish first-time buyers, and those elsewhere in the UK, with some help.