FTBs in London at highest level since 2015: UK Finance

Data from UK Finance shows there were 11,700 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in London in Q3, 2.6 per cent more than in the same quarter of 2017.

The trade body’s Mortgage Trends in London Update for Q3 2018 found the £3.55bn of new lending was 6 per cent more year-on-year. The average first-time buyer in the capital is 32 and has a gross household income of £70,000.

UK Finance figures show there were 8,100 new homemover mortgages completed in London in Q3, some 4.7 per cent fewer than in the same quarter of 2017. The £3.49bn of new lending in the quarter was 0.3 per cent more year-on-year.  The average homemover in the capital is 37 and has a gross household income of £95,000.

The update also shows there were 15,200 new homeowner remortgages in London completed in the third quarter, equating to 3.4 per cent more than in the same quarter a year earlier. The £4.76bn of remortgaging in Q3 was 4.6 per cent more year-on-year.

UK Finance director of mortgages Jackie Bennett says: “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.”

Other figures from UK Finance show that the Northern Ireland mortgage market continues to show steady growth. There were 2,700 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in Northern Ireland in Q3, some 3.8 per cent more than in the same quarter of 2017.

Both homemover mortgages and remortgages were up in Northern Ireland compared to the same period last year. There were 1,800 new homemover mortgages completed in Northern Ireland in Q3, up 5.9 per cent from Q3 2017. The third quarter also saw 2,200 homeowner remortgages completed in Northern Ireland, up 4.8 per cent from Q3 2017.

UK Finance also reports that remortgaging in Scotland continues to surge. There were 9,200 remortgages completed in Scotland in Q3, some 13.6 per cent more than in Q3 2017.

However, first-time buyer numbers were down in Scotland with 8,900 first-time buyer mortgages completed in Scotland in Q3, some 5.3 per cent fewer than in the same quarter of 2017. Homemover mortgages were down too. The 9,500 completions are 1 per cent fewer than the same quarter in 2017.

UK Finance’s Scotland mortgage committee chair Douglas Cochrane says: “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 homemover purchases remain steady.”

UK Finance data also shows that the mortgage market in Wales remained steady in Q3. There were 4,300 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in Wales in Q3, 2.3 per cent down on the same quarter of 2017. The £0.52bn of new lending was the same year-on-year.

There were 4,300 new homemover mortgages completed in Wales in the third quarter of 2018, the same as in the same quarter of 2017. However, the £0.68bn of new lending in the quarter was 3 per cent more year-on-year. There were 4,900 new Welsh homeowner remortgages completed Q3, some 2.1 per cent more than in the same quarter a year earlier.

UK Finance’s Wales mortgage committee chair Julie-Ann Haines says: “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 fixed rate 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.”

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