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Surge in Scottish homebuyers

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Lending to first-time buyers and movers rose strongly from April to June
Surge in Scottish homebuyers

Homebuyer lending in Scotland shot up by 35% in the second quarter of 2017, according to figures from UK Finance.

The trade body said that homebuyers borrowed £2.5bn, up 18% year-on-year. They took out 18,800 loans, up 30% compared to the previous quarter and 15% on the same period last year.

First-time buyers in Scotland borrowed £1.1bn, up 29% on the first quarter and 17% on the second quarter last year. This totalled 9,500 loans, up 25% quarter-on-quarter and 15% year-on-year.

Home mover business was also up significantly North of the border – 39% higher quarter-on-quarter and 20% up compared to a year ago by value, totalling £1.5bn. According to UK Finance movers took 9,300 loans, up 37% quarter-on-quarter and 16% compared to the same quarter in 2016.

Drop in remortgaging

Remortgage activity fell, totalling £900m, down 7% on the first quarter but up 7% on the same quarter last year. This came to 7,300 loans, down 10% quarter-on-quarter but up 4% compared to a year ago.

Carol Anderson, chair of the UK Finance Scotland Mortgage Committee, said: “There were more home buyers in Scotland in the second quarter of 2017 than any other quarter since 2007. First-time buyers have been a key driver of this, with two years of year-on-year growth.

“With an economic climate of low interest rates, government schemes and competitive mortgage deals, the Scottish market is in a good position and open to business going forward.”

Affordability favourable

First-time buyers borrowed an average £101,600 in Scotland compared to £137,700 in the UK overall, up from £98,230 the previous quarter.

The average household income was £33,600 (£40,800 in the UK overall), down from £33,700 the previous quarter.

Home movers borrowed an average of £141,100 (£178,200 in the UK overall), up from £139,500 the previous quarter. The average household income of a home mover was £51,000 compared to £55,100 in the UK overall.

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