Anyone coming to the mortgage industry for the first time would quickly realise one thing – it is full of acronyms.
Having recently been appointed chairman of IMLA, it is fair to say I have fully immersed myself within these ranks.
But the letters FTB have become increasingly prominent in terms of upbeat news (LOL) over the past six months after precious little positive exposure in the preceding few years (not so LOL).
And recent data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders serves to underline this,The trade body’s figures summing up the 2012 FTB market showed that:
· The number of FTBs entering the housing market reached 216,000 in 2012, the first time the annual total has exceeded 200,000 since 2007 and represents a 12 per cent year-on-year rise on the 193,000 loans advanced to FTBs in 2011
· The number of FTBs in London rose by 15 per cent in 2012, marking the largest annual total since 2007
· The number of FTBs in Scotland rose to the largest annual total in four years
· The number of loans advanced to FTBs in Wales reached its largest yearly total in five years
· Lending to FTBs increased in the final quarter of the year in Northern Ireland, contributing to the largest number of loans to FTBs in a single year since 2007.
OMG, this constitutes a blitz of good news in a market which has had more than its fair share of downbeat outlooks and assessments.
Add to these the report that by the end of 2012, 1,522 home purchases had been completed under the Government’s NewBuy scheme in England and it is clear that whilst market conditions are still not perfect for many, the FTB market is at least heading in the right direction.
If there was an acronym chart in the mortgage market, IMHO I would stake a small wager on FTB being 2013’s highest climber and with this sector remaining high on the agenda for many lenders I also expect this positive trend to continue in the coming months.