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New data released by the UK’s Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows that Monthly mortgage payments on residential properties in October 2011 were the most affordable for nearly eight years, but due to increased regulation, lending numbers dropped.

Although First-Time Buyers’ (FTB) deposit requirements have remained stable in recent months at an average of 20%, their monthly interest payments have continued to fall and now typically consume 12.3% of income, the lowest level since January 2004.

Affordability for movers also improved, with this group paying an average of 9.2% of income on mortgage interest, the lowest level since monthly records began in 2002. However, despite the improved affordability of monthly mortgage payments, lending activity has slowed.

In October 2011, 44,500 loans for house purchase were advanced, down from 48,200 in September and from 46,900 in October 2010.

Of the 44,500 loans, 16,400 went to first-time buyers, down from 18,200 in September 2011, down 1% on October last year.

Mortgage affordability is one thing, but the lack of deposits remains a major factor in holding back the housing market, especially for first-time buyers.

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