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The UK mortgage lending market was little changed in 2012 compared with 2011 figures, but did end the year in a more positive form, a lending group has announced.
Gross UK mortgage lending reached an estimated £11.7 billion in December, pushing the total for the year to £143 billion.
This was £2 billion higher than the previous year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: "We are more positive about the UK housing market and wider economy than a year ago, despite economic headwinds and downside risks."
The key reason behind the lift in the mortgage market is the Funding for Lending scheme, which was launched at the start of August.
The Bank of England has been offering cheap funds to banks and building societies, provided it is then lent to individuals and non-financial companies.
There are signs of greater interest on the part of buyers, with Rightmove's traffic in the first two weeks of 2013 up by 27% compared to the same period a year ago.
Figures show that sellers are taking a pragmatic approach to pricing, as asking prices in January have risen by just 0.2% (approximately GBP440) from last month. Compared with January 2012, prices are 2.4% higher.
2013 will be a similar story. A survey of mortgage brokers shows they expect alternative finance to grow by 36% this year. But the high street lenders face even more fundamental problems than the figures suggest. They can't get new funding without special government support.
For more information on the UK mortgage market, see the latest research: UK Mortgage Market
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