Mortgage lending for first-time buyers, home movers and buy to let purchases all fell in December 2017 compared to the previous year. UK Finance’s latest mortgage trends update reveals. However, 2017 overall saw the highest number of first-time buyers (365,000) since 2006.

  • There were 30,800 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December, 5.2 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.1bn of new lending in the month was 1.9 percent down year-on-year.  The average first-time buyer is 30 and has an income of £41,000.
  • 2017 overall saw 365,000 first-time buyers, the highest number since 2006. This is an annual increase of 7.4 percent from 340,000 in 2016.
  • There were 30,700 new home mover mortgages completed in December, some 4.7 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The £6.5bn of new lending in the month was 3 percent down year-on-year. The average home mover is 39 and has an income of £55,000.
  • There were 30,500 new homeowner remortgages completed in December, some 7.4 percent more than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.2bn of remortgaging in the month was 8.3 percent more year-on-year.
  • There were 5,300 new Buy to Let (BTL) house purchase mortgages completed in December, some 17.2 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.8bn of lending in the month, 11.1 percent down year-on-year.
  • There were 9,900 new BTL remortgages completed in December, some 11.6 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £1.6bn of lending in the month, 11.1 percent down year-on-year.

Commenting on the data, Paul Smee, Head of Mortgages at UK Finance, said “2017 saw the number of first-time buyers reach its highest level in a decade, which is welcome news for those getting started on the housing ladder. But although the market remains competitive there is no room for complacency, with weaker December figures consistent with our market forecast of subdued growth this year.”

“We are also seeing a less buoyant buy-to-let market, which continues to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes. This will continue to flatten gross lending volumes this year.”

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