The total value of outstanding loans is now £1.2 billion, an increase of 1% compared to a year earlier, according to latest FSA statistics.
New advances in Q4 totalled £41 billion, an increase of 2% on Q3, but 8% lower than the £45 billion advanced in Q4 2008. New commitments were 6% lower than last quarter, at £36 billion.
Lending for house purchase continues to represent an increasing share of new lending, accounting for 62% of new advances and 63% of new commitments in this latest quarter.
Unsurprisingly, LTVs remain on the comparatively conservative side. The proportion of new lending done at an LTV of more than 90% accounted for less than 2% of new advances for the second quarter in succession, down from 6% in Q4 last year. The use of combinations of high LTVs and high income multiples also continued to decrease, and accounted for less than 1% of new lending in Q4.
The number of new arrears cases has reduced in each quarter of 2009 and was down by a further 9% in the latest quarter to 41,000. The total number of accounts in arrears had fallen to 378,000 by the end of 2009, a decrease of 4% in the quarter, and is similar to the level at the end of 2008. The proportion of the residential loan book that is in arrears, and hence not fully performing, fell for the second successive quarter, to 3.42%.
The number of new possessions totalled 11,800, a fall of 15% on last quarter and the lowest figure since Q2 2008.
Since the beginning of 2007, some 300 regulated mortgage lenders and administrators have been required to submit a Mortgage Lending & Administration Return (MLAR) each quarter to the FSA, providing data on their mortgage lending activities. The regulator published the first set of statistics based on these data in August 2008. This latest edition covers the period from 2008 Q3 to the end of 2009 Q4.
The MLAR covers both regulated and non-regulated residential lending to individuals. Regulated loans are secured by a first charge on residential property, where the property is for the use of the borrower or a close relative. Non-regulated lending includes buy-to-let, second charge and, in some cases, further advances on loans that were originally taken out before regulation came into effect.