The number of first-time buyer mortgages completed in October 2019 was 2.8% higher than in the same month in 2018, according to the latest UK Finance data.
There were 33,370 homemover mortgages completed in October 2019, 4.2% more than in the same month a year earlier, and a 20.8% increase on remortgages with additional borrowing. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in October was £51,000. There were 20,660 new pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing) in October 2019, 20% fewer than in October 2018.
Buy-to-let mortgages dropped slightly, with 1.5% fewer (6,600 in October) than in October 2018. There were 16,200 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 2.4% fewer than the same month in 2018.
Louisa Sedgwick, Director of Sales, Mortgages, Vida Homeloans, comments:
“2019 continues to be a strong year for the first-time buyer. More than 32,000 of these buyers managed to take their first step onto the housing ladder in October. A mix of competitive, low-rate mortgage products and Government initiatives including Help to Buy has allowed more of these borrowers to take their first step onto the housing ladder.
“However, not all those buyers looking to become a homeowner have managed to make that goal a reality. Getting a foot on the ladder remains a challenge for many consumers, particularly when it comes to meeting lender criteria. These buyers need the support of lenders that will look beyond the surface of their mortgage application and it’s specialist lenders that have recognised behind every mortgage there is a real life story. From products that allow friends to buy together to assessing affordability individually, these lenders are working closely with brokers to provide flexible solutions for buyers who would have otherwise been turned away by the High Street.”
Vikki Jefferies, Proposition Director at PRIMIS, said:
“Today’s positive lending numbers reflect the work of brokers achieving the best possible outcomes for clients, despite the ongoing uncertainty. Last week’s election result has brought some certainty to the UK political landscape but the country’s future remains clouded. There’s an opportunity here for advisers. By getting in touch with clients now to review their circumstances, brokers will be able to determine if their customers are on the best product for their circumstances. This should reassure uncertain borrowers that their finances are in good hands – no matter what may be on the cards for the UK over the coming months.”