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Number of first-time buyers hit 12-year high in 2018

There were 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018, some 1.9 percent more than in 2017 and the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since 2006, according to figures from UK Finance.

The £62bn of new lending in the year was 4.9 percent more than in 2017, the UK banking and financial services trade association said.

 

It added that 30,900 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December 2018, some 1.6 percent more than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.2bn of new lending in the month was four percent more year-on-year.

 

Around 30,000 new homemover mortgages were completed in December, some 1.3 per cent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The £6.5bn of new lending in the month was the same year-on-year. In 2018, there were 367,800 new homemover mortgages completed, approximately 1.9 percent less than in 2017. The £80bn of new lending in the year was the same as in 2017.

 

In new homeowner remortgages, around 34,000 were completed in December 2018, some 9.3 percent more than in the same month a year earlier. The £6.1bn of remortgaging in the month was 13 percent more year-on-year. In 2018, there were 476,900 new homeowner remortgages completed, some 10.8 percent more than in 2017. The £85bn of new lending in the year was 13 percent more than in 2017.

 

The buy-to-let market saw 5,100 new mortgages completed in December 2018, around 5.6 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £700m of lending in the month, 12.5 percent down year-on-year. In 2018, there were 66,400 new buy-to-let home purchases completed, some 11.5 percent less than in 2017. The £9bn of new lending in the year was 15 percent less than in 2017.

 

As far as buy-to-let remortgages are concerned, around 12,400 were completed in December 2018, 25.3 percent more than in the same month a year earlier. By value, that was £2bn of lending in the month, 25 percent more year-on-year. In 2018, there were 169,100 new buy-to-let remortgages completed, some 11.2 percent more than in 2017. The £27bn of new lending in the year was 11.6 percent more than in 2017.

 

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: "The mortgage industry helped 370,000 people buy their first home in 2018, the highest number in twelve years, as competitive deals and government schemes such as Help to Buy continue to boost the market.

 

"Homeowner remortgaging also saw strong growth driven by customers locking into attractive rates, a trend we expect to continue in 2019 as more fixed-rate mortgages come to an end.

"Demand for new buy-to-let purchases continues to be dampened by recent tax and regulatory changes. However, the number of buy-to-let remortgages reached a record high of almost 170,000 last year, suggesting many landlords remain committed to the market.”

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