"The outlook is still broadly positive for first-time buyers. Market innovations like Help-to-Buy have gone a long way towards helping this pool of buyers get their foot in the door."
First-time buyer completions totalled 27,370 in April, 7.9% higher than in April 2018, according to the latest UK Finance data.
In last month's data, first-time buyer figures saw their first year-on-year decrease since September 2018.
Despite recovering first-time buyer figures, pound-for-pound remortgages fell by 6.2% on an annual basis. Remortgages with additional borrowing saw a slight rise of 0.3% but in total, there were 3.1% less residential remortgages in April 2019 than in the same month a year earlier.
Homemover mortgages rose by 6.4% over the year and buy-to-let purchase and remortgage figures remained flat.
Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at Primis, commented: “The outlook is still broadly positive for first-time buyers. Market innovations like Help-to-Buy have gone a long way towards helping this pool of buyers get their foot in the door – quite literally. Advisers also play a key role in helping more want-to-be homeowners to take that first step onto the ladder.
“In order to achieve more of these positive customer outcomes, however, advisers themselves need support. From running events designed to educate advisers on changes within the market, to equipping them with digital tools which drive efficiency during the advice process, it’s here that networks come into their own. Supporting brokers in this way will ensure that they are able to help more customers along the application process and, ultimately, boost today’s first-time buyer mortgage numbers in the coming months.”
Gareth Lewis, commercial director at MT Finance, added: "The buy-to-let numbers really stand out because they have remained stable compared with the same period last year, suggesting sustainable activity. This is remarkable given all the negativity surrounding the sector and the harsher tax and regulatory environment. Tales of landlords exiting the sector in their droves seem wide of the mark: these figures suggest that isn’t the case at all.
"Part of the continued demand for buy-to-let is down to the lack of alternatives investments. Savings rates are low and monitoring the stock market is almost a full-time job. As long as you play the long game with property, there is more certainty of growth and people tend to trust bricks and mortar more than other investments."