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Increase in gross mortgage lending

The amount of gross mortgage lending in the UK rose last month by slightly more than £1 billion, according to new figures.Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that lending reached an estimated £18.7 billion in October, seven per cent up on Septembers £17.5 billion.However, this was still 44 per cent lower than the £33.4 billion in October last year."While lending in October ticked up from a low figure in the preceding month, the outlook is one of continuing weakness for housing and mortgage markets in the coming months, despite the Bank rate cuts in October and November," said director general Michael Coogan."Consumer confidence is now being affected by the worsening economic outlook. "However, any recovery in lending is also being held back by the continuing shortage of mortgage funding."He recommended that the government publish the Crosby Review along with the imminent pre-Budget report and announce plans to encourage more lending.

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