Latest CML figures show lending to first time buyers still rising

Taylor Scott International News

Lending to UK first time buyers increased by 12% in October compared to the previous month and is now 14% up on the same month in 2013, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. By value, there was £4.4 billion advanced to first time buyers in October, 10% up on September and 22% higher than October last year, the CML data also shows. But first time buyer affordability changed fractionally, with first time buyers typically borrowing 3.39 times their gross income, compared to 3.4 in September. The typical loan size for first time buyers fell slightly month on month to £125,800 in October, down from £126,000 in September. First time buyers in October paid 19.5% of gross income towards covering capital and interest payments, little changed from 19.6% in September but still significantly less than the recent peak of 24.8% in December 2007. Lending to home movers also strengthened month on month. In October, the number of loans advanced to movers was 35,000, a 10% rise on the previous month and up 4% on October last year. By value, lending to movers totalled £6.5 billion, 8% up on September and up 10% on October last year. Remortgage lending activity saw a decline month on month in October, with the number of remortgage loans totalling 26,600. This was 6% down on September and 11% down on October last year. The value of these loans at £4.1 billion was down 7% on the previous month and down 5% on October last year. There were 19,600 buy to let loans in October, representing lending of £2.7 billion. This continued the growth seen last month with loan volumes and the value of these loans up 8% on September. Compared to October 2013, the number of loans increased 22% and the value of these loans went up 29%. ‘This has been a year of change for our industry, but the market has shown remarkable stability with house purchase and buy to let lending showing steady, consistent growth throughout 2014 compared to 2013,’ said Paul Smee, director general of the CML. ‘There have been fluctuations month to month but overall the market appears to be showing a positive direction of travel going into the New Year. Stamp duty reform was long overdue and it is welcome that the tax has been changed. It will now be interesting to see how the market reacts. The new structure should be less of a barrier to mobility for those looking to get on the housing ladder or movers looking to switch homes,’ he added. According to David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, while first time buyers have been forging ahead in the market this year, more recently lending to new buyers is starting to wane. ‘Mortgage market measures introduced in April have trimmed back lending since, coupled with the ongoing debate about when interest rates might rise and the LTI cap this has discouraged… Taylor Scott International

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