First-time buyer levels up, remortgaging softens: UK Finance

There has been a small increase in lending to first-time buyers in March compared to a year earlier, according to the latest mortgage trends update from UK Finance.

The report found there was £5.1bn of new lending to first-time buyers in the month, up 2 per cent year-on-year. A total of 31,200 new first-time buyer mortgages were completed in the month, some 1.9 per cent fewer than in the same month a year earlier.

According to the UK Finance study, the average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000.

Remortgaging levels were found to have softened slightly, with a total of £5.6bn of remortgaging completed in the month, 9.7 per cent down year-on-year. There were 32,400 new homeowner remortgages completed in the month, 12 per cent fewer than in the same month a year earlier

Homemovers took out a total of £6.1bn in borrowing, 4.7 per cent down year-on-year. There were 28,400 new homemover mortgages completed in the month, 7.8 per cent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The average homemover is 39 and has a gross household income of £56,000.
UK Finance director of mortgages Jackie Bennett says: “Remortgaging levels softened in March, after a busier than usual start to the year saw customers locking into attractive deals ahead of a potential interest rate rise.

“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.”

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