The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £18.5 billion last month - the highest April figure since 2008.
This is 29 per cent lower than March’s lending total of £26.2 billion - at the peak of the rush by landlords to beat the stamp duty surcharge - but it is nonetheless 16 per cent higher than the £16 billion lent in April last year.
“As we move past the stamp duty change that came into effect at the start of April, we expect to see a quieter second quarter, as some transactions that were due to take place were brought forward to the first quarter of this year. This is likely to mean that over the next few months buy to let takes a back seat as lending is driven by first-time buyers, movers and remortgage customers” says CML economist Mohammad Jamei.
“The underlying picture still shows signs of growth, as the market remains underpinned by strong fundamentals such as increasing wages and rising employment. But it is possible that the uncertainty around the upcoming EU referendum in June will weigh on activity in the upcoming months” he suggests.