First-time buyer levels up while remortgaging dips

Lending to first-time buyers increased slightly in March compared to the same month last year, while remortgaging levels softened slightly according to the latest Mortgage Trends Update from UK Finance.

The report found there was £5.1bn of new lending to first-time buyers in the month, up 2% year-on-year. A total of 31,200 new first-time-buyer mortgages were completed in the month, some 1.9% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.

According to the UK Finance study, the average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000.

Remortgaging levels were found to have softened slightly, with a total of £5.6bn of remortgaging completed in the month, 9.7% down year-on-year. There were 32,400 new homeowner remortgages completed in the month, 12% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.

In terms of homemover borrowing, a total of £6.1bn was taken out in March, 4.7% down year-on-year. There were 28,400 new homemover mortgages completed in the month, 7.8% fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The average homemover is 39 and has a gross household income of £56,000.

Separate figures from the Bank of England show that gross mortgage lending in the first quarter of 2018 was £61.1 billion, up 3.4% from £59.0 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

UK Finance director of mortgages Jackie Bennett commented:

“Remortgaging levels softened in March, after a busier than usual start to the year saw customers locking into attractive deals ahead of a potential interest rate rise.

“There has been relatively flat growth in lending to first-time buyers, reflecting recent Bank of England figures showing a fall in mortgage approvals.

“Meanwhile the buy-to-let market remains subdued, as recent tax and regulatory changes continue to have an impact on demand.”


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