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Election hits house market activity


Wednesday April 14th 2010

The political uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the upcoming General Election means there will be little change in the amount of activity in the housing market in the near future, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.

The group said there was a 12% jump in the number of mortgages extended in February compared to January. However the first month of 2010 was slow due to the end of the stamp-duty holiday and the harsh winter weather, meaning trends were difficult to identify. The CML said the figures for February were a "modest recovery" after a weak January.

In February, there was a total of 35,000 home loans taken out, a rise of 49% on the same month a year earlier. The value of mortgages was £5 billion, up 9% on January and 67% ahead of 12 months earlier.

The Government gave a boost for first-time buyers in March's Budget with a duty exemption on purchases up to £250,000.

CML head of research Bob Pannell said: "With the supply of credit still tight and the upcoming election causing political uncertainty, we are unlikely to see much change in the near future, although the new stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers could boost the market somewhat."

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Copyright © Press Association 2010

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