Home lending in the UK increased in May, latest CML data shows

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Home owners in the UK borrowed £9.4 billion for house purchase, up 15% month on month and 8% year on year in May, according to the latest data. They took out 53,800 loans, up 13% on April and 5% on May 2015, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders which said that some equilibrium is coming back into the home lending market. A breakdown of the figures show that first time buyers borrowed £4.3 billion, up 10% on April and 23% on May last year. This equated to 27,500 loans, up 9% month on month and 16% year on year. Home movers borrowed £5.1 billion, up 19% on April but down 2% compared to a year ago. This represented 26,300 loans, up 18% month on month but down 5% on May 2015. The data also shows that remortgage activity totalled £5.2 billion, down 15% on April but up 30% compared to a year ago. This came to 30,900 loans, down 12% month on month but up 25% compared to a year ago. Landlords borrowed £2.6 billion, up 4% month on month but down 4% year on year. This came to 16,600 loans in total, up 3% compared to April but down 8% compared to May 2015. ‘There was a sense of the market regaining some equilibrium in May, following the stamp duty driven spike in March and the subsequent dip in April,’ said Paul Smee, director general of the CML. ‘For the second month running, first time buyers borrowed more than home movers, the first time in 20 years that this has been the case. Buy to let continues at lower levels as expected, after the change to stamp duty,’ he pointed out. However, he also pointed out that Brexit, and its likely effect on the market, is a question to which the answer will not immediately be forthcoming. ‘Lenders will continue to be open for business as usual, but lending volumes may be affected by uncertain consumer sentiment,’ he added. The CML report also shows that affordability metrics for first time buyers have remained relatively stable. The typical loan size increased to £131,000 from £130,000 in April, while the household income of borrowers also increasing slightly from £39,700 in April to £40,000 in May, which meant the income multiple went up from 3.46 to 3.51. Home movers showed a similar trend with the average amount borrowed increasing to £166,000 from £163,000 in April, and the average household income of a home mover also increasing to £53,300 from £52,500. This meant the income multiple went down from 3.26 to 3.25 month on month. Remortgage lending saw a month on month decrease in May but a year on year increase by both volume and value, reaching levels similar to those in the first three months of the year. Gross buy to let lending continues to be lower than usual as expected after the surge in activity to beat the stamp duty changes on second properties ahead… Taylor Scott International

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