Gross mortgage lending hits £18.6bn in August

However lending in August remained some 5% lower than July (£19.7bn).

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said:"The narrative of recovering house purchase and buy-to-let activity continued through August.

“However, it is important to be aware that this picture is being flattered by strong seasonal factors through the summer period.

"A gentle slowing of lending activity may now be in prospect, as a result of the continuing impact of tighter lending rules and a softening of the London market."

David Copland, director of mortgage services LSL Property Services, put the decrease down to the summer slowdown.

He said: “Many brokers took a decent holiday over the summer, typically because things have been going rather well.

“This inevitably has had a knock on effect on volumes into September leaving many lenders behind their 2014 targets.

“It will be this that is driving the price war that we are currently seeing with interest rates tumbling both for purchase and remortgages.

“I think we can expect to see much more of this in the next month or two as lenders scramble to increase volumes and hit their targets.”