First-time Buyers

First-time buyer mortgages hit highest level since June 2017

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

As landlords shy away from buying more properties, first-time buyers are making their move

The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in August rose by 2% to 35,500 from 34,800 in the same month a year earlier, reaching its highest level since June 2017, data has shown.

New lending to first-time buyers in the month stood at £6.1bn, 5.2% more year-on-year compared to £5.8bn in August 2017, according to the latest figures released by UK Finance.

However, new homeowner mortgages completed in August fell by 2.3% to 38,000 from 38,900 in the same month a year earlier. The £8.5bn of new lending in the month was the same year-on-year.

Remortgages dip

The number of new homeowner remortgages completed in August dipped by 0.3% to 37,100 from 37,200, standing at the same value year-on-year of £6.5bn.

New buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in August fell by 13% to 6,000 from 6,900 in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.8bn of lending in the month, 20% down year-on-year.

New buy-to-let remortgages completed in the month increased by 4.5% to 13,800 from 13,200 in August 2017. By value this was £2.2bn of lending in the month, 4.8% more year-on-year.

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

She added: “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.”