"Attractive rental yields in many Northern cities have driven growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend."
The number of first-time buyers in the North of England rose by 3% in 2018 to the highest level since 2006, according to new data from UK Finance.
The North of England came second only to the Midlands in terms of first-time buyer growth, which UK Finance attributes to better affordability in the region.
The figures also show there were 80,400 homemovers in the North of England in 2018, an increase of 1.1% on the previous year and the highest level since 2007. This contrasts with an overall decline in homemovers across the UK in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Northern Powerhouse cities of Newcastle, Liverpool and Hull all saw strong growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend. This has been driven by lower house prices coupled with a healthy labour market and strong rental demand, meaning that landlords can achieve higher yields than the UK average. Hull saw particularly strong growth of 12.8% in buy-to-let lending, along with a steady increase in first-time buyers and homemovers.
Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “These figures show the North of England has a strong and dynamic mortgage market, with lenders helping thousands of first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.
“This has been combined with a steady increase in homemovers, making it easier for buyers to find a property that suits their needs.
“Meanwhile, attractive rental yields in many Northern cities have driven growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend.
“The mortgage industry stands ready to work with the UK government and local authorities to capitalise on these strengths and help deliver on the full economic potential of the Northern Powerhouse.”