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The number of first-time buyer mortgages in August 2019 edged towards the highest monthly total since August 2007, according to the latest data from UK finance.

In August this year, 35,010 first-time buyer mortgages completed compared to 35,070 in August 12 years ago just before the financial crisis struck.

The August 2019 rise was 0.7% on the same month in 2018.

There were 35,380 homemover mortgages in August 2019, a drop of 5.5% on the same month a year earlier.

A downturn in remortgaging

Remortgages with additional borrowing in August, fell by 2.9% year-on-year to 18,640 cases and the average additional amount borrowed was £55,000.

There were 18,100 new pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing) in August, 2.3% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.

Buy-to-let numbers fall

A total of 5,900 new buy-to-let mortgages completed in August 2019, representing a drop of 3.3% from August 2018.

There were 13,800 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 0.7% fewer than in the same month the previous year.

Rob Barnard, sales director at Masthaven, commented: “This summer has been encouraging for the mortgage market. Lending activity has remained steady and first-time buyers continue to reap the benefits of Help-to-Buy.

“Remortgagers are taking advantage of the competitive deals available with lenders intensifying competition in the market by offering innovative products to homeowners who would rather stay put than move in the current climate.

“However, affordability and complex financial circumstances still leave many customers unable to secure a mortgage. With Help to Buy coming to an end in 2023, the mortgage market needs to continue to provide innovative solutions to encourage individuals onto-and-up the property ladder.”

By Joanne Atkin

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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