UK mortgage market sees lending fall off toward end of 2014

Taylor Scott International News

Lending trends to first time buyers, home movers and remortgaging in the UK have declined but there has been an annual rise in buy to let lending, according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Lending to first time buyers fell 11% in November 2014 compared to the previous month and was down 3% on November 2013. By value, there was £3.8 billion advanced to first time buyers, 12% down on October but 6% up on November last year. Lending to home movers also declined month on month by 13% and by 10% on November 2013. By value, lending to movers totalled £5.4 billion, down 14% on October and 5% on November last year. Remortgage lending activity saw an 8% decline month on month and was 16% down on November 2013. The value of these loans at £3.6 billion was down 10% on the previous month and down 14% on November of the previous year. There were 17,700 buy to let loans in November, representing lending of £2.4 billion, a 10% decrease on the previous month, however, compared to November 2013, the number of loans increased 9% and the value of these loans went up 14%. Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said that the easing back of activity is not completely unexpected as there is usually a seasonal lending dip in the winter months, adding that the major industry changes and more restrained market sentiment have inevitably caused month to month fluctuations over the last 12 months. ‘Our forecasts are for gross lending to continue to grow over the next two years and this reflects our belief that there are more stable conditions in the market than a year ago,’ he explained. According to Steve Bolton, founder and chairman of Platinum Property Partners (PPP), significant increases in average house prices over the past year have made buy to let a very attractive investment prospect. He pointed out that recent research from Savills shows that property investors with buy to let assets have experienced capital appreciation of 17% over the last 12 months. ‘There are also positive signs for further growth in the buy to let market. Our recent research shows that two in five landlords plan to expand their portfolios this year and it is anticipated that the pension freedoms coming into play in April will encourage further buy to let investment,’ he said. ‘Rental demand shows no sign of slowing, as more than 8.5 million people in England now rent from a private landlord. But there is still a worrying imbalance between supply and demand. Landlords have a responsibility to look at ways of providing more rental accommodation that is of a high standard but also affordable,’ he explained. ‘Buy to let models such as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are an efficient way of making use of existing housing stock as well as providing quality accommodation at much lower costs, enabling… Taylor Scott International

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