FTB lending at nine-year high in Scotland and Wales: CML

FTB lending at nine-year high in Scotland and Wales: CML
First-time buyers continue to be a key driver in the market with more loans advanced to new home-owners than any quarter since 2007.

Homebuyer numbers saw strong quarterly increases across the UK in Q3, driven by lending to first-time buyers, according to the latest CML figures.

Homebuyers increased by 12% quarter-on-quarter in London, 5% in Scotland, 13% in Wales and 18% in Northern Ireland.

Scottish first-time buyers borrowed £940m, up 3% on the second quarter and 6% on Q3 2015. There were more loans advanced to first-time buyers in this quarter in Scotland than any other since the third quarter of 2007. First-time buyers also borrowed more this quarter than any other quarter since CML records began.

First-time buyers in Wales also took out more loans in Q3 than any other since 2007, with figures increasing by 7% quarterly and 13% annually.  

First-time buyers in London borrowed £3.1bn, up 7% on the second quarter but down 5% compared to the third quarter last year.


First-time buyers in Northern Ireland borrowed £210m, up 11% on the second quarter and 17% on the third quarter last year.

Home movers also saw strong quarter-on-quarter increases, rising by 25% in London, 6% in Scotland, 16% in Wales and 27% in Northern Ireland.

This quarter also saw a four year high in remortgage activity in Scotland with a total of £890m lent, up 6% on the previous quarter and 11% on the same quarter in 2015.

Low rates following the base rate cut also sparked strong remortgage lending across the UK in Q3. Activity rose by 5% in London and 7% in Wales.

Remortgage activity in Northern Ireland totalled £190m, down 10% on Q2 but up by 12% on the same quarter last year.

Carol Anderson, CML Scotland chair, commented: "First-time buyers continue to be a key driver in the market with more loans advanced to new home-owners than any quarter since 2007. This quarter also saw a four year high in remortgage activity and quarter-on-quarter growth in home movers so all lending types have performed strongly over the summer months.

"This is the first quarter post the EU referendum and the market appears resilient so far. It may take time to fully gauge the full impact but currently the Scotland market is in good shape and open for business moving forward."

Julie Ann Haines, CML Cymru chair, said: "Lending to home buyers continues to increase in Wales, with first-time buyers really driving that growth. We saw more loans to first-time buyers this quarter than any other in 9 years, and affordability remains better in Wales than in the UK overall."

Derek Wilson, CML Northern Ireland chair, added: "This is the first period after the EU referendum vote and it appears the Northern Irish market has remained resilient. We have seen year-on-year growth in home buying activity in Northern Ireland every quarter this year, with first-time buyers really driving that growth. Home mover and remortgage lending levels have stayed relatively consistent the past few quarters too, and affordability continues to be much better than in the UK overall, so we should expect this to continue as we approach the new year."

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