First-time buyer and homemover borrowing rises

Ryan Bembridge

October 12, 2017

First-time buyer and homemover borrowing rose by 16% and 18% in August from July, UK Finance figures show.

There was £5.7bn of first-time buyers borrowing in August, which is a 12% rise from August 2016, while homemover borrowing was up 20% after reaching £8.4bn.

June Deasy, head of mortgages policy, said: “Activity picked up in August, and recent resilience ensured that borrowing by homemovers was at its highest since March 2016, when transactions were boosted by an imminent increase in stamp duty.

Real house prices are lower than 2007 in 58% of areas

“Over the last 12 months, the number of people remortaging has been higher than in any period since late 2009.

“With mortgage rates close to historic lows and the likelihood of a rise in official rates moving closer, the popularity of remortgaging looks set to continue.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, as well as Steven Seal, director of sales and distribution at Bluestone Mortgages, were both encouraged by first-time buyer activity.

Leaf said: “First-time buyers are taking advantage of landlords’ reluctance to commit due to recent tax and legislation changes.”

And Seal said: “To see an increase in first-time buyer lending year-on-year is an encouraging sign that the market remained open for business over the summer, despite the political uncertainty that has characterised most of 2017.

“Schemes such as the government’s Help to Buy loan have also helped 81% of first-time buyers onto the property ladder in Q2, and this number looks set to grow.”

Buy-to-let and remortgaging was more steady in August in terms of value.

Buy-to-let borrowing fell by 3% month-on-month and stayed flat year-on-year, while remortgage borrowing fell by 3% from the month before and rose by 8% year-on-year.

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