Number of first-time buyers at highest level for more than a year

Number of first-time buyers at highest level for more than a year
First-time buyer numbers in August reached their highest level since June last year, with a total of 35,500 mortgages completed.

According to latest figures from trade body UK Finance, there was £6.1bn of new lending in August, up 5.2% year-on-year. The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in the month was up 2% compared to the same month last year.

The average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000, UK Finance said.

Homeowner remortgaging numbers stable - but buy-to-let remortgages up

There were 37,100 remortgages completed in August, just 0.3% fewer than in the same month last year, although the £6.5bn of remortgaging was unchanged year-on-year.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “The homeowner remortgaging market has softened slightly, reflecting the many borrowers who had already locked into attractive deals in the months preceding the Bank of England’s base rate rise.”

Buy-to-let remortgaging saw strong growth in August, with 13,800 new buy-to-let remortgages completed, up 4.5% compared to the same month a year earlier.

This is “due in part to the number of two-year fixed deals coming to an end,” said Bennett. “This suggests that while new purchases in the buy-to-let market continue to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes, many existing landlords remain committed to the market.”

Act now to secure low rates

If you’re hoping to get onto the property ladder or remortgage this autumn, it could pay to act sooner rather than later before interest rates rise again.

Although no-one knows exactly when rates will move next, low mortgage rates won’t last forever, so if you’ve spotted a deal you like, grab it while you can.

Remember to focus on the overall cost of any deal you’re interested in rather than looking at the headline rate alone, as depending on your circumstances it may be cheaper to go with a slightly higher rate but a lower arrangement fee. A broker can talk you through all the available options to help you choose the best mortgage to suit your needs.

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