CML figures show lending down in August

Both the number and value of house purchase loans were the lowest since the CML began collecting monthly data in January 2002.

The typical advance to a first-time buyer fell to £106,754, the lowest since May 2006, reflecting both falling house prices and a further tightening in lending criteria. First-time buyers typically borrowed 84% of the value of the property and 3.18 times their income, down from 90% and 3.39 in August last year.

There were 26,600 loans to home movers worth £4.1 billion, down 61% in volume and 64% in value from August last year. The typical home mover advance was £126,000, the lowest since June 2006. Home movers typically borrowed 69% of the value of the property and 2.78 times their income.

There were 74,000 loans for remortgage worth £10 billion, down 20% in volume and 9% in value from August 2007. This is the lowest level of remortgaging volume and value since March this year. Gross lending declined to £19.7 billion, down 20% from July and 42% from a year ago. This was its lowest monthly level since February 2005.

The proportion of borrowers choosing tracker rates increased from 28% in July to 31% in August. While the majority of borrowers (58%) still opted for a fixed rate, this has declined from 64% in July.

CML director general, Michael Coogan said: "Fixed rates were higher than tracker rates and rose by more from July to August. Expectations of base rate reductions have also increased, so it is unsurprising to see consumers moving in favour of variable rates.

"The package of measures announced yesterday will have a positive effect, but it will take time for it to feed through to the mortgage market."