Good news for people thinking of starting their own estate agency this week as The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that total gross mortgage lending increased to ?17.6bn in October, representing a rise of 9% from ?16.2bn in September and 37% higher than the total of ?12.9bn in October last year. This is the highest monthly estimate for gross lending since October 2008 (?18.6bn). CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: ?Housing activity is set to strengthen further in the short term and to contribute materially to overall economic growth”. Repossession rates also fell from 0.07% to 0.06%. At 7,200, the quarterly number of repossessions was down from 7,600 in the second quarter and 8,200 in the third quarter of last year. The CML figures cover both home-owner and buy-to-let arrears and repossessions. Arrears in the buy-to-let market are lower than in the home-owner market. While buy-to-let mortgages represent over 13% of the total number of mortgages in the UK, the sector accounts for only 9% of the total number of mortgages in arrears. Overall, the total number of repossessions for the full year now looks likely to be fewer than 30,000, compared with the CML?s start of year forecast of 35,000. Great news for the current HomeXperts franchisees and our new HomeXperts recruits going through training academy.