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Welsh lending flat over year

Sarah Davidson

August 24, 2012

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders in Wales showed by value first-time buyers in Wales borrowed £190m in the second quarter, up from £180m in the previous quarter but consistent with the same period in 2011.

In the second quarter of the year 2,100 first-time buyers took out mortgages, up from 1,900 loans in the first three months of 2012 and 2,100 loans in the second quarter of 2011.

On average Welsh first-time buyers continued to borrow more of their property’s value than in the UK as a whole.

The average first-time buyer loan to value ratio remained unchanged at 85% in the second quarter of 2012, higher than the overall UK figure of 80%.

The second quarter also saw a rise in the percentage of first-time buyers in Wales buying homes under £125,000. 67% of first-time buyers bought property for less than £125,000 in the second quarter of 2012, up from 63% in the first quarter and 62% in the same period of last year. This marked the highest percentage since the first quarter of 2010.

In addition to an increase in lending to first-time buyers, the number of loans advanced to home movers increased compared to the previous quarter and the second quarter of 2011.

Lending to home movers in Wales went up by 17% on the first quarter of 2012 and by 6% on the same quarter in 2011.

Home movers took out 3,500 loans in the second quarter (worth £410m) compared to 3,000 loans in the previous quarter (worth £350m) and 3,300 loans in the second quarter of 2011 (worth £370m).

The increase in lending to first-time buyers and home movers led to a rise in overall house purchase lending.

Overall, 5,600 house purchase loans were advanced in Wales in the second quarter, up by 14% compared to the previous quarter and a 4% increase on the second quarter of 2011.

By value, house purchase loans totalled £600m increasing from £530m in the last quarter and £560m in the second quarter of 2011.

While there was an increase in house purchase lending, remortgage lending in Wales contracted in the second quarter of 2012.

Remortgage lending fell by 8% compared to the first quarter of 2012 and down by 13% on the second quarter of 2011. This was a larger drop than the rest of the UK where remortgage lending fell by 6% compared to the previous quarter and by 4% on the same period last year.

The second quarter of 2012 saw £340m advanced to borrowers remortgaging, compared to £370m in the first quarter and £390m in the second quarter of 2011.

Peter Hughes, chair of CML Cymru, said: “An increase in house purchase lending combined with Welsh home-buyers spending less of their income on mortgage repayments than their UK-wide counterparts, are positive indicators for the housing market in Wales.

“Lower house prices in Wales compared to the rest of the UK, and the end of the stamp duty holiday, seems to have led to an increase in the percentage of first-time buyers purchasing property in the lower end of the market.

“Overall, the Welsh mortgage market is in tune with the UK as a whole: stable, but still facing challenging conditions from a variety of factors.”


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