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First-time buyer mortgages hit 12-year high in ‘near perfect’ conditions

  • 15/10/2019
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First-time buyer mortgages hit 12-year high in ‘near perfect’ conditions
The number of first-time buyer mortgage completions reached 35,010 in August 2019, the highest total since August 2007 when there were 35,070.


The figure was 0.7 per cent higher than the same month last year, according to the UK Finance Mortgage Trends.

The value of new lending for first-time buyer mortgages was £6.1bn during the month, a 3.6 per cent year-on-year increase. 

The number of homemover mortgage completions stood at 35,380 in August, 5.5 per cent lower than the same month last year. 

Homemover mortgages were valued at £8.2bn, a 1.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2018. 

New remortgages with additional borrowing declined by 2.9 per cent, with 18,640 completed. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed was £55,000 in August. 

The number of remortgages with no additional borrowing dropped by 2.3 per cent to 8,100 compared to August 2018.

The count of buy-to-let mortgage completions also dropped, by 3.3 per cent to 5,900 in August. 

There were 13,800 buy-to-let remortgages, 0.7 per cent fewer than the same month last year.


Market resilience

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Far from a housing market on its knees, new-first time buyer mortgages for August were at their highest level since the same month in 2007 showing real resilience.  

“It also demonstrates the lengths lenders are going to in attracting first-time buyers with competitive mortgages at high loan-to-values and innovation on family lending products where families can help offspring onto the housing ladder.” 

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Competition amongst lenders has driven down rates to record low levels and thousands of homeowners are taking advantage of these deals to step onto the housing ladder or remortgage.” 


First-time buyers benefitting

Sam Harhat, head of financial services at Andrews Property Group, said the current market conditions for first-time buyers were “near perfect”, while David Copland, director of mortgage services at TMA, added: “Remortgages continue to be an attractive option,” because borrowers were benefitting from competitive rates. 

When it came to the overall decline in the buy-to-let market, Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “A drop in buy-to-let mortgages has become the norm and is unlikely to change until the second home additional stamp duty charge is either removed or lowered.” 

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