First time buyer levels in London have hit the highest rate since 2015, according to fresh analysis of the mortgage market by UK Finance.
The organisation has taken a close look at the capital, as well as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It has assessed homeowner mortgages, as well as remortgaging and first time buyer levels over the third quarter (Q3) of the year.
In Q3, 11,700 first time buyer mortgages were completed in London, which is up by 2.6% on Q3 2017. This £3.55 billion of new lending was 6% higher on an annual basis. UK Finance found that the average first time buyer in the capital was 32-years-old and had a gross household income of £70,000.
8,100 new home mover mortgages were completed over the same period, some 4.7% fewer than in Q3 last year. The £3.49 billion of new lending was up by 0.3% year-on-year. The average home mover in London was 37-years-old and had a gross household income of £95,000.
Some 15,200 new homeowner remortgages were completed in the capital in Q3, which is 3.4% higher than in the same quarter of 2017. The £4.76 billion of remortgaging was 4.6% more on an annual basis.
Jackie Bennett, the Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, comments: “London’s mortgage market remained resilient in the third quarter of this year, despite an uncertain economic environment.
“The number of first time buyers in the capital reached its highest level in three years, boosted by schemes such as Help to Buy. The recent extension of the scheme until 2023 will help even more people get a foot on the housing ladder in the years ahead.
“Remortgaging continues to be strong, reflecting the large number of fixed rate loans coming to an end, as well as customers’ desire to lock into new competitive rates.”
First Time Buyer Levels in London at the Highest Rate since 2015
First time buyer levels in Northern Ireland were also up over Q3, with 2,700 new mortgages to the group, some 3.8% more than in Q3 2017. The £0.28 billion of new lending was 7.7% higher annually. The average first time buyer in Northern Ireland was 30-years-old and had a gross household income of £33,000.
1,800 new home mover mortgages were completed in Q3, which is up by 5.9% on the same quarter of last year. This £0.24 billion of new lending was 4.3% more year-on-year. The average home mover was 39-years-old and had a gross household income of £48,000.
There were 2,200 new homeowner remortgages in Northern Ireland in Q3, which is 4.8% higher in the same quarter a year earlier. The £0.24 billion of remortgaging was 9.1% more on an annual basis.
Derek Wilson, the Chair of UK Finance’s Northern Ireland Mortgage Committee, says: “The Northern Ireland mortgage market continues to show steady growth in house purchase activity.
“Lending to first time buyers remains the largest sector by value, as borrowers take advantage of what continues to be the most affordable region in the UK.
“These figures underline the importance of boosting housing supply to meet this growing demand.”
9,200 new Scottish homeowner remortgages completed in Q3, some 13.6% more than in the same quarter of 2017. The £1.18 billion of remortgaging was 18% higher year-on-year.
First time buyer levels in Scotland were not as strong as in London or Northern Ireland, however, as 8,900 mortgages were completed in Q3, some 5.3% fewer than in the same quarter of last year. This £1.04 billion of new lending was down by 1% yearly. The average Scottish first time buyer was 29-years-old and had a gross household income of £35,000.
There were 9,500 new home mover mortgages completed in Scotland in Q3, which is down by 1% on Q3 2017. The £1.53 billion of new lending was the same year-on-year. The average Scottish home mover was 39-years-old and had a gross household income of £51,000.
The Chair of UK Finance’s Scotland Mortgage Committee, Douglas Cochrane, comments: “Scotland saw strong growth in remortgaging activity this quarter, as many fixed rate loans come to an end and customers continue to shop around for attractive deals.
“The number of first time buyers has softened slightly compared to the same quarter last year, while home mover purchases remain steady.”
First time buyer levels also dropped in Wales in Q3, as 2.3% fewer mortgages were completed (4,300). The £0.52 billion of new lending to this group was unchanged year-on-year. The average Welsh first time buyer was 29-years-old and had a gross household income of £35,000.
4,300 new home mover mortgages were completed in Wales in Q3, matching the level recorded in the same quarter of 2017. This £0.68 billion of new lending was 3% higher on an annual basis. The average home mover in Wales was 39-years-old and had a gross household income of £48,000.
Some 4,900 new Welsh homeowner remortgages were completed during the period, which is 2.1% more on an annual basis. The £0.61 billion of remortgaging was 8.9% higher on Q3 last year.
Julie-Ann Haines, the Chair of UK Finance’s Wales Mortgage Committee, explains the data: “The Welsh mortgage market has remained steady, with overall house purchases broadly in line with the same period last year. Remortgaging has continued to grow, as many existing loans mature and homeowners take advantage of a competitive market to lock into attractive deals
“The number of first time buyers is down slightly amid ongoing economic uncertainty, while the buy-to-let market has also softened due to the impact of recent tax changes. However, the overall picture of the market is consistent with the last couple of years and it would appear that this trend is set to continue in the short-term.”