First-time buyer lending hits a Q2 high for London and Celtic nations

Loans to first-time buyers in London and the Celtic nations were at their highest levels since the financial crisis in the second quarter of the year.

In the second quarter, 11,200 loans were advanced to first-time buyers in London, the largest quarterly number since the fourth quarter of 2007, when 12,700 loans were advanced. This is a 38 per cent increase on 8,100 loans advanced in Q2 2012.

Typically, first-time buyers in London borrowed £192,640, up from £183,881 a year earlier.

Some 6,500 loans were advanced to first-time buyers in Scotland in Q2, the highest number since Q2 2008, when 6,600 loans were advanced. This is a 33 per cent increase on the 4,900 loans advanced to first-time buyers in Q2 2012.

On average, Scottish first-time buyers borrowed £89,943 in Q2, up from £83,300 in Q2 the previous year.

Wales witnessed the largest number of loans to first-time buyers in six years, with 2,700 first-time buyers advanced mortgages. At 2,700, lending was up 28.5 per cent on Q2 2012, when 2,100 loans were advanced to first-time buyers.

Welsh first-time buyers borrowed £93,454, on average, up from £87,995 a year earlier.

In Northern Ireland, first-time buyer lending by volume was at its highest level since the last quarter of 2009. A total of 1,500 loans were advanced to first-time buyers, a 36 per cent increase on the 1,100 loans advanced in Q2 2012.

On average first-time buyers borrowed £71,000 in the second quarter, up from £69,750 a year earlier.

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “The figures are positive news for the capital’s consumers, as access to the property market is clearly improving despite warnings of an impending housing bubble.

“Although property prices are on the rise, competition between lenders has opened up the market for first-time buyers, with growing product choice and competitive rates.”