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First-time buyer activity up while buy-to-let drops again

There were more first-time mortgages in January than that of the previous year, while remortgages and buy-to-let home purchases saw a decline, UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends Update for January has found.

There were 25,100 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in January, 4.6% more year-on-year and 25,300 homemover mortgages completed in the month, 2.8% more year-on-year.

There were 5,500 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in January 2019, 1.8% fewer than in the same month a year earlier. However, the rate of decline is less than in January 2018, when there was a 5.1% year-on-year decrease in the number of buy-to-let home purchases.

Matt Andrews, managing director of Mortgages at Masthaven, said: “Despite the current political uncertainty, the first-time buyer market appears largely unaffected.

“Whether this be attributed to government initiatives such as the extension of the Help to Buy scheme, the ‘gifting’ of wealth from parents to children, or an increase in flexible products offered by lenders, this segment of the market is in good stead for whatever political and economic decisions are made in the coming weeks.

“More could still be done for the buy-to-let market to encourage greater purchase activity. The slight softening in remortgaging figures for this sector suggests landlords remain committed to the market, greater product innovations, alongside a range of housing tenure that meets consumer needs, would certainly be welcomed so the sector can reach its full potential.”

Gareth Lewis, commercial director at specialist lender MT Finance, added: “There was always a worry that the lending market would be depressed at the beginning of the year as we edged ever close to the March deadline for Brexit, with this preventing people from buying and selling.

“But these figures are actually very positive and show that people have come out and continued to buy, so sentiment is pretty good.

“There is still pressure on the buy-to-let space and this will continue unless something is done to ease all the restrictions that have been placed on landlords in terms of taxation and higher stamp duty.

“A review of stamp duty at least could stimulate movement in this area but perhaps this is wishful thinking, with the government loathe to make any changes.

“First-time buyer numbers remain strong and encouragingly, loan-to-values have been consistent so it is not as if they are over-stretching themselves. With the average LTV around 85%, sensible lending is being done rather than chasing volume.”

There were 47,400 new homeowner remortgages completed in January 2019, 2.7% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.

Remortgaging in the buy-to-let sector saw a similar drop-off in activity, with 15,800 new remortgages, a 4.2% drop from the year before.

While this amounted to a year-on-year fall, it is worth noting that January 2018 was a particularly strong month, with the highest number of residential remortgages in nine years and the highest number of buy-to-let remortgages on record.

Overall, UK Finance expected the remortgaging sector to see continued strength in 2019, as more tranches of fixed-rate deals come to an end.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The year has got off to a remarkably good start on the lending front despite ongoing political uncertainty. Clearly, people have had enough with situations they can’t control and are getting on with their lives.

“Lenders are keen to lend and rates are extremely competitive. Several lenders have trimmed rates this year in an effort to encourage more business, while innovative tweaks here and there are increasing as an alternative to offering the cheapest rate in the market.

“Swaps have dipped further over the past few days on the back of heightened uncertainty around Brexit which is likely to continue to result in lenders offering perks such as cash back and free valuations, and going down the innovation route, which is good news for borrowers.

“The all-important first-time buyer numbers continue to grow in numbers as lenders offer more products at high loan-to-values and the Help to Buy scheme remains popular, despite its critics. This is good news for the market as a whole.”

By Michael Lloyd

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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First-time buyers shore up UK housing market

The residential mortgage market has had a strong start to the year, as the number of first-time buyers entering the market increased by 4.6 per cent.

The latest data from UK Finance, published today (March 14), said 25,100 new first-time buyers completed in January 2019, an increase of almost 5 per cent when compared with the same month in 2018.

The number of homeowner mortgages completed in the month rose to 25,300, a 2.3 per cent year-on-year increase.

Gareth Lewis, commercial director at specialist lender MT Finance, said: “There was always a worry that the lending market would be depressed at the beginning of the year as we edged ever close to the March deadline for Brexit, with this preventing people from buying and selling.

“But these figures are actually very positive and show that people have come out and continued to
buy, so sentiment is pretty good.

“First-time buyer numbers remain strong and encouragingly, loan-to-values have been consistent so it is not as if they are over-stretching themselves.

“With the average LTV around 85 per cent, sensible lending is being done rather than chasing volume.”

New homeowner remortgages, however, fell by 2.7 per cent when compared with January 2018, with 47,400 completed during the first month of this year.

Remortgaging in the buy-to-let sector also fell by 4.2 per cent when compared with the year before.

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “While the current political landscape is forcing some homeowners to ‘improve, not move’, increased competition within the mortgage market continues to help thousands of buyers with their property plans and ambitions.

“With mortgage rates having halved in the last decade, and a growing number of lenders offering 95 per cent LTVs, first-time buyers stand in a particularly strong position.

“For any would-be borrowers, looking to make the most of the competitive rates and flexibility the mortgage market has to offer, speaking to a mortgage adviser is a wise first move.

“Not only can these professionals provide access to thousands of mortgage products, but their extensive knowledge of the market means they know which lenders will best cater to a borrower’s unique circumstances.”

Meanwhile, new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in January were 1.8 per cent down on the same month a year earlier.

According to UK Finance, the rate of decline this year is less than experienced in January 2018, when buy-to-let home purchases plummeted 5.1 per cent year-on-year.

Matt Andrews, managing director of mortgages at Masthaven, said: “More could still be done for the buy-to-let market to encourage greater purchase activity.

“The slight softening in remortgaging figures for this sector suggests landlords remain committed to the market, greater product innovations, alongside a range of housing tenure that meets consumer needs, would certainly be welcomed so the sector can reach its full potential.”

Jenny Turton is a freelance journalist

Source: FT Adviser

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Number of first-time buyers in the UK reaches an all-time high

The number of first-time buyers wanting to get their foot on the property ladder has reached a 12-year high in the latest report from UK Finance.

In the new study, they have revealed that during 2018 the number of first-time buyers applying for mortgages reached 370,000 — 1.9 per cent more than the previous year. This is the highest number of first-time buyers since 2006, when 402,800 mortgages were completed.

It also reveals that £62 billion of new lending in 2018 was up by 4.9 per cent in comparison to 2017.

With government incentives such as Help to Buy lending a hand to the new generation of homeowners, more buyers were able to purchase their first home without the hefty deposit.

Elsewhere, the study also reveals that there were 5,100 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in December, which has fallen by 5.6 per cent on the same month of the previous year.

‘The mortgage industry helped 370,000 people buy their first home in 2018, the highest number in 12 years, as competitive deals and Government schemes such as Help to Buy continue to boost the market,’ explains Jackie Bennett, the Director of Mortgages at UK Finance to Landlord News.

‘Homeowner remortgaging 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 remortgages reached a record high of almost 170,000 last year, suggesting many landlords remain committed to the market.’

Planning to buy your first home this year? With house prices rising just £714 in a year, now could be the time.

Source: House Beautiful

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First-time buyers dominate property purchase market for first time in a generation

First-time buyers now account for the majority of mortgaged property purchases, overtaking the joint numbers of subsequent-time buyers and buy-to-let investors, for the first time since 1995.

According to the latest Halifax First-Time Buyer Review, first-time buyers now account for just over half of all property purchases funded by a mortgage, rather than cash transactions, up 38% on a decade ago. The average price paid for a borrower’s first home is up 39% on average, from £153,030 in 2008 to £212,473 in 2018. Over the same period the average deposit has jumped by 57% from £21,133 (14% of purchase price) to £33,252 (20%)

The research shows that the total number of individuals or couples buying property for the first time has increased by 2% in the past year, continuing a seven year upwards trend. Growth last year was considerably slower than 2017 (7.6%) and 2015 (9%), but overall the numbers are up 92% on the low of 192,300 seen in 2008.

The number of first-time buyers has gone up 2% in the last 12 months, continuing an upward trend over the last seven years. Although growth in 2018 was at a slower rate than 2017 (7.6%) and 2016 (9%), first-time buyers overall have increased by 92% from an all-time low of 192,300 in 2008.

First-time buyers now account for just over 50% of all house purchases with a mortgage, an increase from 38% a decade ago. Halifax data revealed that the average price paid for a typical first home has gone up by 39%, from £153,030 in 2008, to £212,473 in 2018, and the average deposit has increased by 57% from £21,133 to £33,252 over the same period¹.

Borrowers buying in London are putting down a staggering £110,656 on average,  while those in Wales are paying the lowest average deposit of £16,449.

Terraced houses, closely followed by semi-detached properties have continued to be the first-time buyer’s home of choice over the past decade, making up two-thirds (67%) of mortgages for first homes in 2018.

The average age of a first-time buyer in 2018 has remained at 31 – two years older than a decade ago. In London it has grown from 31 to 33 since 2008 – the oldest in the UK. The biggest increase in age was in Northern Ireland, up by three years from 28 to 31.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “New buyers coming on to the ladder are vital for the overall wellbeing of the UK housing market, and the continued growth in first-time buyers shows healthy movement in this important area – despite a shortage of homes and the ongoing challenge of raising a deposit.

“Last year was the first year that first-time buyers accounted for the majority of the market since 1995, which shows that the factors reducing some of the associated costs – such as continued low mortgage rates and Stamp Duty – are supporting the increasing number of people taking their first step on to the property ladder.”

Source: Your Money

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Help to Buy sends number of first-time buyers into the 12-year record books

The number of first-time buyers reached a new high last year – with the catalyst being Help to Buy, the scheme that helps purchasers of new-build homes only.

According to trade body UK Finance, there were 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed last year, some 1.9% higher than in 2017.

This is the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since the pre-crash year of 2006 when the figure was 402,800.

In the last month of last year, there were 30,900 first-time buyer mortgages completed, up 1.6% on a monthly basis.

The number of home-mover mortgages was down in December, at 30,000. This was 1.3% fewer than in November. Altogether last year, there were 367,800 new home-mover mortgages, 1.9% down on 2017.

Buy-to-let purchase mortgages also dwindled last year.

In 2018, there were 66,400 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages, or 11.5% fewer than in 2017.

Remortgaging in both home-owner and buy-to-let sectors rose – by 10.8% and 11.2% respectively.

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 12 years, as competitive deals and government schemes such as Help to Buy continue to boost the market.

“Home-owner remortgaging 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 remortgages reached a record high of almost 170,000 last year, suggesting many landlords remain committed to the market.”

John Phillips, operations director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, said: “First-time buyers are holding up the purchase market, as incentives Help to Buy and the freeze on Stamp Duty, plus new mortgages like Lloyds ‘lend a hand’ 100% mortgage offering coming on to the market, are making it easier for them to make that first move on to the housing ladder.

“We are increasingly seeing people choosing to remortgage to free up cash to do work to their current homes rather than move, either because the Stamp Duty and other costs make it too expensive, or because they are unwilling to take the risk in an uncertain market.

“But post March 29 I think there will be a change in sentiment. No matter what the outcome, uncertainly will be taken out of the equation, and as a result, I think the purchase market will start to pick up. But overall, we will probably not see the effects of that until much later on in the year.”

Despite the surge in first-time buyers, the number of renters between the ages of 25 and 34 has risen 20% since 1998, according to the ONS.

Source: Property Industry Eye

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First-time buyer activity reaches pre-crisis levels

The number of first-time buyers (FTBs) in 2018 reached its highest level since before the global financial crisis, UK Finance’s latest Mortgage Trends update has shown.

Last year, 370,000 new FTB mortgages were completed, a 1.9 per cent increase on 2017 and the highest number since 2006 when it was 402,800.

In the year FTBs accounted for £62bn of new lending, with £5.2bn of that taking place in December 2018.

Meanwhile, the data showed 30,000 home mover mortgages were completed in the final month of last year, as well as 34,000 homeowner remortgages.

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 remortgaging 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.

Ray Boulger, senior mortgage technical manager at John Charcol, said: “These figures confirm that virtually all the growth in mortgage lending in 2018 came from remortgaging and FTBs, with the lion’s share from remortgaging.

“Although we don’t have comparative 2017 figures for product transfers the likelihood is that product transfers also increased in 2018.

“Housing transactions last year fell below 2014 numbers and are likely to fall again this year. UK Finance is forecasting mortgage lending will be flat in 2019 and so with lower housing transactions and prices flat remortgaging will need to increase just to maintain gross lending levels.”

He added the end of the government’s Help to Buy equity share second charge scheme, which allows buyers to e-mortgage to pay off the Help to Buy equity loan, could have a “major impact” on the volume of mortgage lending post-April 2023.

This was “unless before then the private sector steps up to the plate with viable alternative lending options for FTBs with only a small deposit”, he said.

Elsewhere, December saw a 12.5 per cent year-on-year fall in new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages, with a value of £0.7bn for the month.

The fall was also evident for the rest of 2018, where new buy-to-let home purchases were 11.5 per cent lower than in 2017.

Buy-to-let remortgage completions in December 2018 however, rose 25.3 per cent when compared with December 2017, with a value of £2bn.

Matt Andrews, managing director of mortgages at Masthaven, said: “It is interesting to note the continued downturn of buy-to-let activity across the market.

“From tax alterations to regulatory updates, it seems the sector is really feeling the effects of these changes.

“In order to keep the market attractive to buy-to-let investors and to avoid further market uncertainty, greater incentives and lending products will be paramount.”

But Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said the data demonstrated a resilient mortgage market.

He said: “The number of mortgage products available are at some of the highest levels we’ve ever seen and combined with competitive rates, this is continuing to entice borrowers, particularly first-time buyers.

“For any borrowers unsure of how the current climate will affect them or how they can potentially take advantage of it, speaking to a mortgage adviser is a great place to start.

“Through their extensive knowledge and access to the whole of market, these experienced professionals will be able to match a borrower’s unique circumstances with the right mortgage product.”

Source: FT Adviser

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First time buyers cease to chase market

First time buyers have ceased to chase the housing market and pay proportionally more than home movers, as Brexit uncertainty and affordability concerns take hold.

Analysis by home finance provider Gatehouse Bank, has found the number of areas where first time buyers were willing to pay more to secure a foot on the property ladder has plummeted 98.8 per cent year on year, signalling a strengthening buyers market.

Doncaster in South Yorkshire was the only area where first time entrants to the property market were prepared to pay slightly more than home movers.

In 2017 the same study found 81 areas where first time buyers were chasing the market.

While affordability and Brexit uncertainty have played a significant part in the decline, according to the report, so too has the continued slowdown in house price growth across the country.

The latest Halifax House Price Index revealed that prices in the three months to January were a mere 0.8 per cent higher than in the same three months a year earlier, with the average house price being £223,691.

Charles Haresnape, CEO of Garehouse Bank, said: “First time buyers are an interesting group because they are a bellwether for affordability and the wider housing market.

“In the round, they are acutely sensitive to whether they are getting good value because it can have a significant impact on how quickly they are able to lower their finance costs and move up the ladder in the future.

“If first-time buyers are chasing the market to a larger degree than home owners, it is a bullish sign for prices.

“When they do a volte-face like this, people should take notice because first-time buyers are the new blood that keeps a market on its feet higher up the ladder.

“This trend could right itself over the next year, but only if wage growth continues to beat inflation and there is confidence in the economic outlook.”

Greg Cunnington, director of lender relationships and new homes at Alexander Hall, said: “It is not surprising to see that first time buyers are looking to not pay over the odds.

“It is a strong buyer’s market currently with the Brexit uncertainty, putting the purchaser immediately in a strong position.

“We also have a climate where there is more stock availability for first time buyers thanks to the Help to Buy scheme, which is proving incredibly successful, and means first time buyers are more likely to be willing to walk away from a property knowing that other options will be available.”

Data from UK Finance published in January showed 35,000 first time buyer mortgages were completed in November 2018, a rise of 5.8 per cent on November 2017.

Meanwhile, a number of lenders have announced reduced rates on high loan-to-value mortgages to assist first time buyers in getting on the property ladder.

Analysis from Moneyfacts last week (February 8) showed the average two-year fixed rate at the maximum 95 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) tier has fallen by 0.54 percentage points.

Commenting on the data, Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “There clearly seems to be a concerted drive by mortgage providers to try and secure the business of potential FTBs, who are the lifeblood of the mortgage and property markets and it is encouraging to see rates decrease as a result of some healthy competition.”

Source: FT Adviser

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Should first time buyers opt for Lloyds ‘no-deposit’ mortgage?

Getting together a deposit is one of the biggest hurdles facing first-time buyers.

Almost half (43%) of 18-35 years old’s say it’s stopping them getting on the ladder, while a similar proportion of parents (41%) say they’d like to help their children financially but need the money for later life.

Lloyds Bank says its latest mortgage product will suit both groups.

The Lend a Hand mortgage requires no deposit or upfront fees. Instead, parents put savings equivalent to 10% of the property’s price in a savings account for three years.

They then get it back, providing nothing goes wrong, having earned an interest rate of 2.5%, currently equivalent to the top rate in the market for three-year fixed-term deposits.

Meanwhile, their kids pay an interest rate of 2.99%, fixed for three years, which is a little above average, but not as high as many first-time buyer mortgages.

And, because you get your savings back, you could potentially use them to get several children onto the property ladder, one after another.

There’s even £300 cashback for the parents and £500 for the kids.

So, has Lloyds solved the first-time buyer dilemma?

‘Help to Buy’ properties are excluded

Help to Buy is a scheme where the Government will loan you 20% of the money for a new home – or 40% in London – interest-free for five years.

However, you can only use it for new-build properties from Help to Buy-accredited builders and, unfortunately, Lloyds’ Lend a Hand mortgage can’t be used for new builds, or properties in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Getting approved for a mortgage isn’t just about the deposit: you need to show you can afford the repayments.

In the case of Lloyds’ mortgage, you’ll need to show you can afford to make repayments on 95% of the property’s value.

Taking the most expensive property permitted by Lloyds – £500,000 – that works out as £2,105 per month for 30 years.

Even taking the average UK first time buyer house price of £212,211 you’ll need to stump up £894 a month and, due to regulations, you’ll get assessed on your ability to pay even more than that.

Should you just give your kids the money?

While it certainly won’t be the case for everyone, many parents of adult children might find they have a little cash to spare, especially with pension freedoms.

Simply gifting your children the money could help them two-fold: it’ll make their mortgage cheaper and easier to get and reduce Inheritance Tax bills.

Here’s why: if you gift them 10% of the property’s value, they’ll only need to get a mortgage for the remaining 90%. They’ll be able to get cheaper mortgage interest rates than 2.99% and access Help to Buy and other assistance schemes.

To the taxman, your gift will count as a ‘Potentially Exempt Transfer’: providing it’s under £325,000, and you live for another seven years, you won’t have to pay any tax whatsoever.

Could you lend your kids the money instead?

Many parents will be tempted to lend their children the money directly and cut out Lloyds as the middleman.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to work out cheaper in practice.

According to David Hollingworth from mortgage brokers London & Country, many lenders will refuse to accept a parental loan as a source of deposit and, when they do, they’ll factor in the repayments as part of their affordability calculations, creating a “vicious circle”.

Hollingworth warns that this approach could “massively reduce your options”, possibly resulting in a more expensive mortgage.

What if I don’t have any spare cash?

Post Office’s Family Link Mortgage could help even if neither the parent nor the child has money to spare.

It does this by mortgaging 10% of the parent’s property – which must be mortgage-free – with the children making two sets of repayments for the first five years. The children will need to be able to afford these substantial repayments.

Alternately, Aldermore also offers a no-deposit mortgage where the parents are a ‘guarantor’, meaning their house could be repossessed if the children fall behind on their mortgage. The parents just have to pay legal fees.

Smaller operators like Bath Building even offer no-deposit mortgages where the parents’ income will be considered in the affordability calculations – potentially solving the problem of affording repayments.

However, the interest rates on such mortgages can be high.

Don’t forget the rival mortgages

Barclays also offers a 100% mortgage, with the parents putting 10% of the value into a savings account for three years.

Unfortunately, the rate the children pays is marginally higher (3%) and the rate the parents receive is slightly lower (2.25%), although as it’s pegged to the Bank of England base rate it could increase.

However, as the Lloyds mortgage requires you to be a Lloyds current account customer, if you don’t live near a local branch of Lloyds than Barclays could be an easier option.

Source: Love Money

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More First-Time Buyers Enter Property Market in November

UK Finance figures show that more first-time buyers got their foot on the property ladder in November, before the Christmas slowdown.

Its Mortgage Trends Update for November 2018 indicated that 36,200 new mortgages for first-time buyers were completed that month. This is a 5.8% increase over November 2017. At £6.0bn, the new lending was up by 9.1%  year-on-year. The figures revealed that the average first-time homebuyer is 30 years old and has a £42,000 gross household income.

Land Registry figures show that in England, the average first-time buyer purchases their first property for £207,538. This is 2.3% higher than last year, but property prices are the same from the month before.

In London, however, first-time buyers in 2019 will pay £413,744 on average to get on the property ladder. This is a drop of 0.9% from a year ago and an increase of 1.1% from October 2018.

In November, 36,200 new homeowner mortgages were completed, which 1.1% higher than in October. New lending totalled £7.8bn, which is 4% higher year on year. In London, the average first-time buyers in 2019 are 39 and have a £55,000 gross annual income.

The total number of new buy-to-let purchase mortgages in November was 6,100, which is 9% fewer than in November 2017. Value-wise, this was £0.8bn of lending, down 111% from the year before.

UK Finance Director of Mortgages Jackie Bennett said that a combination of competitive schemes and dealers helped a growing number of first-time buyers purchase a home during November.

In the meantime, there has been a steadying in homeowner remortgaging, after reaching its highest point in a decade as many fixed-rate deals concluded. In the buy-to-let market, purchases continue to be slow while remortgaging is on the rise due to attractive rates.

Source: CRL

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November sees rise in number of first-time buyers

Mortgage lending ticked upwards in November 2018 with first-time buyers showing stronger growth than home movers but buy-to-let purchase continues to fall, figures from UK Finance show.

There were 36,200 new first-time buyer mortgages in November, which is 5.8% more than in the same month a year earlier. They took out £6 billion in the month – a rise of 9.1% year-on-year.

The number of new home mover mortgages was also 36,200, but this was just 1.1% more than in the same month a year earlier.  New lending totalled £7.8 billion – 4% more year-on-year.

The average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000 compared to the average home mover who is 39 with a gross household income of £55,000.

There were 39,600 new homeowner remortgages completed in the month, some 1.3% more than in the same month a year earlier.  The £6.8 billion of remortgaging was the same year-on-year.

Buy-to-let

A total of 6,100 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages were completed in November, some 9% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.  By value this was £0.8 billion of lending, down 11.1% year-on-year.

Buy-to-let remortgaging fared better with 15,000 completions in the month, 9.5% more than in the November 2017.  By value this was £2.4 billion of lending, representing an annual increase of 9.1%.

Comment

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “A mixture of competitive deals and schemes including Help to Buy saw even more first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder during November.

“Meanwhile, homeowner remortgaging activity has steadied, after reaching its highest level in a decade the previous month as a large number of fixed-rate deals came to an end.

“In the buy-to-let market new home purchases remain subdued, while remortgaging continues to grow as landlords lock into attractive rates.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette