Lending to first time buyers up in first quarter of 2019

There was an increase in new buyer home lending in regional parts of the UK in the first quarter of 2019, the latest mortgage industry figures show, with Scotland stronger than Wales.

In Scotland there were 6,760 new first time buyer mortgages completed in Scotland, up 4.5% compared to the same quarter in 2018. Additionally, there were 6,620 new home mover mortgages, up 6.6%, according to the figures from UK Finance.

The data also shows that there were 9,670 new home owner remortgages completed in Scotland, up 18.8%, the highest volume of remortgaging in Scotland in a decade, when 9,850 remortgages were completed in the third quarter of 2009.

There were 3,450 new first time buyer mortgages completed in Wales, a rise of 1.2% and 3,140 new home mover mortgages, a rise of 1%. There were 4,810 new home owner remortgages, a fall of 0.2% and the UK Finance report points out that this follows a period of strong growth in remortgaging in Wales during 2018.

In Northern Ireland there were 2,440 new first time buyer mortgages completed, up 11.4% and 1,490 new home mover mortgages, a fall of 0.7%. There were 2,820 new home owner remortgages completed, up 24.8% to the highest level of remortgaging in Northern Ireland since the first quarter of 2009, when 3,280 remortgages were completed.

There were 9,410 new first time buyer mortgages completed in London, a rise of 1.6%, and 5,980 new home mover mortgages, down 3.7% while there were 14,170 new home owner remortgages, a fall of 1.3%.

John Phillips, national operations director of Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, pointed out that despite a few little shifts, first time buyers and remortgages are dominating the market while home movers in Scotland are more confident than those in London, probably because they are closer to the political and economic uncertainty.

John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart said: “The regional lending trends data out today from UK Finance reveal that first time buyer mortgages are up across the UK for quarter one, with the biggest hike in Northern Ireland, which saw a rise of 11.4 per cent.

2While there are a couple of little anomalies, these figures are pretty much what we have been seeing for the past 18 months or so with first time buyers holding up the purchase market, and the wider market being remortgage activity,’ he said.

‘There is a bit more action in terms of home movers in Scotland, and I think this is because there is a bit of a north south divide at the moment with people in the North of England and Scotland feeling less close to the political and economic uncertainty being felt in London, but overall, the picture is what I’d expect to see, and until all this uncertainty is over, I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon,’ he added.

(c) Property Wire, May 2019