Mortgage Lending in U.K. Almost Reaches Level from Last Year

London–U.K. gross mortgage lending increased from a 2 ½-year low in December to £26.5 billion in January–almost hitting the January 2007 level, according to the London-based Council of Mortgage Lenders.However, the piece of positive mortgage news–a rarity in the U.K.’s current troubled market–won’t impact consumer confidence unless Bank of England lending data, due later this month, reveal an increase in housing sales, according to the Financial Times.”It is likely that demand will be stronger for remortgaging than for house purchase in the short term,” Council of Mortgage Lenders director-general Michael Coogan told the Times.