New lending to first-time buyers in the month stood at £6.1bn, 5.2% more year-on-year compared to £5.8bn in August 2017, according to the latest figures released by UK Finance.
However, new homeowner mortgages completed in August fell by 2.3% to 38,000 from 38,900 in the same month a year earlier. The £8.5bn of new lending in the month was the same year-on-year.
The number of new homeowner remortgages completed in August dipped by 0.3% to 37,100 from 37,200, standing at the same value year-on-year of £6.5bn.
New buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in August fell by 13% to 6,000 from 6,900 in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.8bn of lending in the month, 20% down year-on-year.
New buy-to-let remortgages completed in the month increased by 4.5% to 13,800 from 13,200 in August 2017. By value this was £2.2bn of lending in the month, 4.8% more year-on-year.
Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance (pictured), said that house purchase completions remain stable, driven by the number of first-time buyers, which reached its highest monthly level since June 2017.
She added: “BTL remortgaging saw relatively strong growth in August, due in part to the number of two-year fixed deals coming to an end. This suggests that while new purchases in the buy-to-let market continue to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes, many existing landlords remain committed to the market.
“However, the homeowner remortgaging market has softened slightly, reflecting the many borrowers who had already locked into attractive deals in the months preceding the Bank of England’s base rate rise.”
BTL purchase market remains flat
David Copland, director of mortgage services at TMA, said that the year looks set to continue in the same trend, with a flat buy-to-let purchase market as this area remains less attractive to landlords due to the flurry of regulatory changes the sector has faced this year.
He added: “This is coupled with a steady remortgaging market and a rise in product transfers, owing to the number of fixed rates reaching maturity and needing renewal over recent months.
“Despite the increase in first-time buyer activity, a large proportion of increased lending is still resting on remortgaging activity and advisers are doing a sterling job of locking customers into the best possible rates. Today’s current low rates won’t last forever, particularly with the economic uncertainty of Brexit just around the corner, so we always advise acting sooner rather than later.”