First time buyer activity rises significantly in Q1

The number of first-time buyer mortgage enquiries, applications and completions soared in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), indicating that this segment of the market is increasingly “willing and able to get a foot on the property market”.

IMLA’s latest mortgage market tracker reveals that more than two-thirds of the first-time buyer applications made through mortgage brokers went through to completion during Q1 2017.

On an annual basis, this shows that successful first-time buyer applications rose by 19% from Q1 2016 (48%) to Q1 2017 (67%).

The average number of first-time buyer enquiries to brokers also rose, climbing from 55 in Q1 2016 to 60 in Q1 2017.

IMLA reported that the proportion of enquiries which lead to applications in principle also saw in increase, rising from 51% in Q1 2016 to 57% in the same period this year.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, said:

 “First-time buyers’ struggles have been highly publicised, with affordability stretched by rising house prices and modest income growth. However, rising levels of mortgage enquiries, applications and completions shows that a significant number of first-time buyers are still both willing and able to get a foot on the property ladder.

“Low mortgage rates have contributed to this improving outlook for first-time mortgage borrowers. However, with the Bank of England reporting that average rates are creeping up on the higher loan-to-value (LTV) products that buyers with modest deposits rely on, policymakers must continue to do their upmost to support lending to this part of the market."



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