UK Finance: First Time Buyer numbers up 7% year-on-year

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018

The latest data from UK Finance has shown a steady strengthening of the UK property market despite fears over Brexit and increasing political uncertainty.

According to the most recent report, there were 49,800 new homeowner re-mortgages completed in January, 19.1% more than in the same month a year earlier and the highest monthly number of re-mortgages since November 2008. The £8.9bn of re-mortgaging in January 2018 was 20.3% higher year-on-year.

First-time buyer completions saw an annual rise of 7% to 24,500 and home movers increased by 6.4% to 25,000.

Buy-to-let lending slipped 5.1% but buy-to-let re-mortgaging was up by an impressive 17.9% against the same period a year earlier to 16,500.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Re-mortgaging in January reached a nine-year high, as a number of fixed rate mortgages came to an end while borrowers locked into attractive deals amid expectations of further interest rate rises.

While an increase in re-mortgaging is expected in the New Year as people put their household finances in order, this strong growth is above the seasonal fluctuations we tend to see at this time of year.

There was the usual dip in both first-time buyers and home-movers post the December festive period, but mortgage lending in both segments increased compared to the same period in 2017.

However, growth in the buy-to-let market remains subdued, reflecting the ongoing impact of recent tax and regulatory changes.”

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