The number of remortgages in January 2018 reached a nine-year high while the number of first-time buyers and home movers both increased compared to the same period in the previous year, UK Finance’s latest mortgage trends update reveals.

  • There were 49,800 new homeowner remortgages completed in January 2018, some 19.1 percent more than in the same month a year earlier. This is the highest monthly number of remortgages since November 2008, when the figure stood at 51,300. The £8.9bn of remortgaging in January 2018 was 20.3 percent more year-on-year.
  • There were 24,500 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in January 2018, some 7 percent more than in the same month a year earlier.  The £4bn of new lending in the month was 11.1 percent more year-on-year. The average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £41,000.
  • There were 25,000 new home mover mortgages completed in January 2018, some 6.4 percent more than in the same month a year earlier.  The £5.4bn of new lending in the month was 10.2 percent more year-on-year. The average home mover is 39 and has a gross household income of £55,000.
  • There were 5,600 new buy-to-let house purchase mortgages completed in January 2018, some 5.1 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.8bn of lending in the month, the same year-on-year.
  • There were 16,500 new buy-to-let remortgages completed in January 2018, some 17.9 percent more than in the same month a year earlier.  By value this was £2.6bn of lending in the month, 18.2 percent more year-on-year.

Commenting on the data, Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance said “Remortgaging in January reached a nine-year high, as a number of fixed rate mortgages came to an end while borrowers locked into attractive deals amid expectations of further interest rate rises. While an increase in remortgaging is expected in the New Year as people put their household finances in order, this strong growth is above the seasonal fluctuations we tend to see at this time of year.

“There was the usual dip in both first-time buyers and home-movers post the December festive period, but mortgage lending in both segments increased compared to the same period in 2017.”

Commenting on UK Finance’s mortgage lending trends, Steve McNicholas, Managing Director – Credit and Marketing Data, Callcredit Information Group, said “The latest UK Finance statistics show a small spike in mortgage lending overall, but particularly for first-time buyers, which have gone up by 7% in January, likely because of the stamp duty cut in the last Budget. Since the interest rate hike in November 2017, we’ve seen the overall market cool considerably but these figures show that the number of mortgages has gone up slightly in the last period, as more people look to buy properties ahead of another potential interest rate hike in 2018. Should this rate rise happen, we’re likely to see a continued cooling of the market.”

“These figures paint a more subdued picture of the UK economy. If the market does continue to cool lenders need to remain diligent and focused. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that they continue to maintain exhaustive affordability checks. This will not only ensure that individual borrowers are protected from increasing household debt but that the wider economy is also shielded. However, growth in the buy-to-let market remains subdued, reflecting the ongoing impact of recent tax and regulatory changes.”