Housing transactions set to remain low

The number of home buyers with the necessary finance to make a purchase increased between February and March, according to recent data.

However, the property market is a long way from recover and far behind the level it achieved last year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Figures released by the body today show mortgage lending was estimated at £11.5 billion in March – 16 per cent higher than the previous month.

In spite of this rise, year-on-year figures are still 52 per cent down from last Marchs £24.2 billion.

This may encourage some homeowners to improve rather than move, with conservatories, glazed canopies and roof lights all possibilities in the summer months.

Statistics from the first quarter of the year show a 29 per cent fall in lending in the last three months of 2008.

"While the market is beginning to show some signs of stabilising, housing transactions and lending are set to remain low for the foreseeable future," explained CML director general Michael Coogan, who added todays Budget provided an opportunity to reinvigorate the market.

However, this goes against the wishes of Firstrung chief executive Paul Holmes, who recently stated the property industry should now be left alone to reach a natural bottom.