UK Finance: FTB numbers up

Michael Lloyd

September 17, 2019

home sales

The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in July rose by 5.8% year-on-year to reach 32,640, UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends Update has revealed.

There were 32,710 homemover mortgages completed in July, 1.4% more than in the same month a year earlier.

Over the months were 20,760 new remortgages with additional borrowing in July, 7.1% fewer than in the same month in 2018. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in July was £55,500.

David Copland, director of mortgage services at TMA, said: “On the whole, this summer has been encouraging for the mortgage market.

“Lending activity remained steady whilst borrowers continued to reap the benefits of deals and initiatives geared towards their needs. In particular, we saw the outlook for first-time buyers brighten even further as their numbers reached the highest level in over two decades.

“The remortgage market is also showing growth potential. Recent market data suggests that over £77.5bn of residential and buy-to-let terms are set to mature between now and the end of the year.

“This makes it the perfect time for advisers to re-engage with any customers who are approaching the end of their terms to make sure they are on the best deal possible.

“But the industry needs to help here too; we need to ensure that advisers have all the tools they need to continue producing optimal outcomes for borrowers and therefore retain their clients.”

Steve Seal, managing director at Bluestone Mortgages, added: “Today’s statistics show that first-time buyers are once again leading the way in terms of completion numbers, as initiatives like the Help-to-Buy scheme help them get onto the property ladder.

“By contrast, July’s remortgage activity remained relatively consistent, but it’s clear that lenders are intensifying competition in the market by offering appealing deals to homeowners who would rather stay put than move in the current climate.”

In July there were 20,380 new pound-for-pound remortgages, 12.9% fewer year-on-year.

This has been driven in part by a fall in the number of fixed-rate mortgages coming to an end and the growing popularity of product transfers.

There were 5,800 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in July, 5.5% more than this time last year.

In addition, there were 15,100 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 2% more than the same month in 2018.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of the Coreco, welcomed the rise in buy-to-let purchases and remortgages.

He said: “What’s also encouraging is the pick-up in buy-to-let purchase mortgages. After a tumultuous four years, the market appears to have bottomed out.

“Buy-to-let will never be the force it once was but on this evidence there is life in it yet.

“We urge people to not rush into a product transfer as while the rates being offered might look competitive, there will often be something better out there.

“The property and mortgage markets as a whole are ticking along nicely given the depth of political uncertainty.

“Brexit may still dominate the airwaves but it’s no longer causing people to put their lives on hold.”

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