1st-time buyer mortgages hit highest level in more than a year

First-time buyer mortgages hit their highest level in more than a year in August as newcomers to home ownership secure their property.

Figures from UK Finance revealed that 35,500 first-time buyer mortgages were completed in the month, 2 percent up on the same month in 2017 and the highest monthly level since June 2017.

Those first-timers borrowed £6.1 billion, up 5.2 percent year on year.

According to UK Finance, the trade body for the finance industry, the average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000.

Meanwhile, reflecting a change in dynamics in the property market, new buy-to-let mortgages dropped by 13 percent year on year. With only 6,000 new buy-to-let mortgages completed in August, the value of lending sat at £0.8 bn, down 20 percent on August 2017.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Overall house purchase completions remain stable, driven largely by the number of first-time buyers, which reached its highest monthly level since June 2017.

“Buy-to-let remortgaging saw relatively strong growth in August, due in part to the number of two-year fixed deals coming to an end. 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.

“However, 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.”