First-time buyer mortgage numbers jump as landlord purchases tumble
Thursday 17th January 2019
The number of first-time buyer mortgages jumped to 36,200 in November, more than five times the number taken by new buy-to-let investors, UK finance data showed. The number of loans given to borrowers taking their first step on the ladder increased 5.8 per cent year on year, making up £6bn of new lending - a 9.1 per cent increase.
At the same time, new buy-to-let mortgages dropped nine per cent year on year to 6,100. The deals were worth £0.8bn of lending, down 9.1 per cent.
However, there were 15,000 buy-to-let remortgages - an increase of 9.5 per cent year on year - and worth £2.4bn, an increase of 9.1 per cent.
There were 36,200 homemover mortgages in the month, an increase of 1.1 per cent from a year earlier. The group accounted for £7.8bn of new lending, up four per cent year on year. The number of remortgages in November increased by 1.3 per cent from 2017, but the £6.8bn of lending was flat.
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."
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, added: 'Encouragingly, first-time buyer numbers are holding up as they are essential to the overall health of the housing market.
"Lenders have been tempting them with attractive rates at high loan to values, while government incentives, such as Help to Buy and stamp duty exemptions, are also playing a part.
"First-time buyers have also benefited from the lack of competition for smaller homes from landlords, with many investors giving buy to let a wide berth.
"Buy to let remains subdued although landlords are cannily remortgaging and cutting costs where they can."
Source: Mortgage Solutions