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Remortgaging down 10% year-on-year: UK Finance

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  • 16/05/2018
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Remortgaging down 10% year-on-year: UK Finance
The value of remortgage deals in March totalled £5.6bn, down by 9.7% from a year ago, data from UK Finance’s mortgage trends update has revealed.

 

There was an even more significant drop in the number of cases, with 32,400 remortgage deals completing, a fall of 12% year-on-year.

Lending to first-time buyers picked up by 2% year-on-year, with £5.1bn lent to those purchasing a first home. However, this was spread over fewer cases, with the number of loans dropping by 1.9% from a year ago.

March saw a total of £6.1bn lent to homemovers, down 4.7% from last year, while the number of deals dropped 7.8% to 28,400.

The buy-to-let sector had an even tougher time, with 5,500 purchase completions, down 19.1% on an annual basis. In terms of value, the £0.8bn lent out was down 20%.

Jackie Bennett, director of Mortgages at UK Finance, said: “There has been relatively flat growth in lending to first-time buyers, reflecting recent Bank of England figures showing a fall in mortgage approvals.

“Meanwhile the buy-to-let market remains subdued, as recent tax and regulatory changes continue to have an impact on demand.”

Mike Scott, chief property analyst at Yopa, said that first time buyers are “keeping the housing market going”.

He continued: “The first-time buyer market may be helped by mortgage lenders relaxing their lending criteria a little, with a reduction in the average first-time buyer deposit and increase in the average loan-to-value ratio.

“Nevertheless, mortgages have become slightly more affordable, with reductions in the percentage of income needed for mortgage repayments for both first-time buyers and home movers.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said that with lenders offering excellent deals at higher LTVs, it would have been welcome to see an even bigger increase in first-time buyer levels, suggesting affordability may still be an issue for many.

He continued: “Remortgaging softened after a strong start to the year, fuelled partly by expectations that interest rates would rise in May.

“While the Monetary Policy Committee meeting came and went without a rate rise, there is no room for borrowers to be complacent as it is not necessarily completely off the agenda.”

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