First-time buyer numbers hit 12-year high during 2018

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019

The latest data and analysis from UK Finance has revealed that despite 'challenging' market conditions and the ongoing Brexit and political circus, first-time-buyer numbers reached a 12-year peak during last year.

According to the report from UK Finance, there were 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018, a 1.9% rise when compared to 2017. This is the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since 2006, when this figure stood at 402,800. The £62bn of new lending in the year was 4.9% more than in 2017.

During December, there were 30,900 new first-time buyer mortgages completed. This was a 1.6% rise against the same month a year earlier. The £5.2bn of new lending in the month was 4% more year-on-year. UK Finance revealed that there were 30,000 new home-mover mortgages completed in December last year - a drop of 1.3% against the same month a year earlier.

Buy to Let

The report revealed that there were 12,400 new buy-to-let re-mortgages completed in December 2018. This figure is up by 25.3% when compared to the same month a year earlier. By value this was £2.0bn of lending in the month, 25% more year-on-year. In 2018, there were 169,100 new buy-to-let re-mortgages completed, some 11.2 per cent more than in 2017. The £27bn of new lending in the year was 11.6 per cent more than in 2017.

Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance said: "The mortgage industry helped 370,000 people buy their first home in 2018, the highest number in twelve years, as competitive deals and government schemes such as Help to Buy continue to boost the market.

Homeowner re-mortgaging also saw strong growth driven by customers locking into attractive rates, a trend we expect to continue in 2019 as more fixed-rate mortgages come to an end. Demand for new buy-to-let purchases continues to be dampened by recent tax and regulatory changes. However, the number of buy-to-let re-mortgages reached a record high of almost 170,000 last year, suggesting many landlords remain committed to the market.”

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