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May’s lending nears record levels

The volume of residential and buy-to-let mortgage lending in May reached its second highest level in eight years, new analysis has revealed.

Figures from Equifax Touchstone show that residential loans reached £11.1 billion, a rise of 2% on April, while buy-to-let lending was up 7.8% to £3.4 billion.

The average residential mortgage was worth £183,454, with the typical buy-to-let advance at £155,916.

On a year-on-year basis, May’s lending figures represented a rise of more than 10% on 2014, while buy-to-let was up 26.5%. Overall, the value of loans was up by 14.4%.

The statistics meant that, in the period since 2007, May’s lending figures were second only to those recorded in March this year.

Iain Hill, relationship manager at Equifax Touchstone, said: “After the slight sales decline reported in April, it was difficult to predict what May would bring. With uncertainty created by the General Election now removed, it will be interesting to see if the market continues to power ahead into the summer months.

“An increase in lending volumes of £710m (26.5%) year on year shows a dramatic rise in the popularity of buy-to-let mortgages as retirees unlock pension pot capital and invest in property to generate income. The strong figures for buy-to-let lending show that the property rally remains very healthy.”

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