Today saw the release of the latest set of data from the Council Of Mortgage Lenders, (CML) stating that Gross Mortgage Lending rose by 5% in July compared to June, although this is still 3% down from July 2009.

In total Gross mortgage lending was an estimated £13.6 billion in July, increasing from £12.9 billion in June and compared to £14 billion in July 2009.

The modest rise in mortgage activity we’ve seen since June has been set against a low base, and although there has been a noticeable rise in the number of products available to borrowers, and more lenders returning to the market, the mortgage landscape is by no means close to returning to “normal”.

Mortgage lending criteria have toughened, making it difficult for borrowers, particularly the self-employed and first-time buyers who are struggling to obtain the borrowing they require.

Consumer demand will begin to rise again after the traditional summer lull, with buyers keen to take advantage of low interest rates and a softening of house prices, but I would expect the rest of the year to remain pretty subdued as lenders continue to err on the side of caution.

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