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First-time buyers lead the way in lending growth

by: Samantha Partington
  • 11/08/2014
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First-time buyers lead the way in lending growth
First-time buyer loans in June rose by 19% year-on-year to 28,600 transactions, data on lending trends from the Council of Mortgage Lenders has shown.

By value, there was £4.2bn of lending to first-time buyers in June – 27% higher than June last year.

Analysis of monthly trends revealed transactions rose by 7% while the value of lending increased by 11%.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The lending market remains strong, suggesting that the impact of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) has not been detrimental.

“First-time buyer numbers continue to swell and it remains to be seen whether Lloyds’s decision to rein back its Help to Buy provisions will be copied by other lenders or have a significant impact on the market. It’s unlikely, as there is a lot of choice for first-time buyers at high loan-to-values.”

Homemover transactions grew at a slightly slower pace. In June 31,900 mortgages were issued, up 11% year-on-year and 4% compared to May.

June’s homemover loans totalled £5.9bn, 23% more than June 2013 and a 5% rise on the value of May’s lending.

Meanwhile remortgage lending struggled to make any real impact in June.

The number of remortgages in June were 1% up on May but 8% down on June last year, although the value (£3.7bn) was up 6% on both.

Harris said the subdued activity in the remortgage market was unexpected.

“[It is] all the more surprising when you consider the excellent rates available and the threat of an interest rate rise. One can only assume that homeowners are either struggling to remortgage because of the MMR or think it will be difficult, so aren’t bothering to apply in the first place.”

Buy-to-let lending grew 5% over the month to £2.2bn in June though the number of loans were the same as in May at 15,600.

But growth was strong compared with June last year – 38% up by value and 23% by number.

Lucy Hodge, director, Vantage Finance, said the figures proved that rented accommodation was still a popular choice.

“The availability of funding and lender choice continues to be broad. Rising house prices across the country mean there’s a large pool of people priced out of the market looking to rent, especially in London.

“This, combined with still-low interest rates, means we have the ideal conditions for property professionals to expand their portfolios,” she said.

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