First-time buyer numbers jump

First-time buyer numbers jump
Growing numbers of first-time buyers are getting onto the property ladder, new figures show, helped by low mortgage rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy.

There were 36,200 first-time buyer mortgages completed in November last year, according to trade body UK Finance, up 5.8% compared to the same month a year earlier.

The average first-time buyer is aged 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000. First-time buyers typically borrow 3.65 times their income, with an average loan size of £142,500.

Homemover and remortgage numbers steady

The number of homemover mortgages completed in November increased slightly to 36,200, some 1.1% higher than in the same month a year earlier, although the £7.8 billion of new lending in the month was up 4% year-on-year. The average homemover is aged 39 and has a gross household income of £55,000.

Remortgage activity was also steady in November, with 39,600 remortgages completed in the month, up 1.3% year-on-year. The £6.8bn value of remortgages in November was the same as in November the preceding year.

Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance said: "A mixture of competitive deals and schemes including Help to Buy saw even more first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder during November.

"Meanwhile, homeowner remortgaging activity has steadied, after reaching its highest level in a decade the previous month as a large number of fixed-rate deals came to an end.”

Buy-to-let purchases subdued, but remortgaging up

In contrast to first-time buyers, the number of buy-to-let property purchase mortgages declined by 9% in November compared to the same month a year earlier, with only 6,100 new buy-to-let mortgages completed.

Landlords have been hit with a raft of changes in the past couple of years which has dampened their enthusiasm to add to portfolios. Changes include the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second properties, and the gradual reduction of mortgage interest relief.

However, this has resulted in high remortgage activity as landlords focus on managing their costs. UK Finance said that 15,000 new buy-to-let remortgages were completed in November, some 9.5 per cent more than in the same month a year earlier.

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