Home movers and first-time buyers drove the mortgage market, for a change, in April.
Lending growth to both groups has been swamped by remortgages in recent months but industry data shows the number of home buyer mortgages increased 6.4% annually in April to 25,450 – the highest so far this year – while the number of approvals for first-time buyers was up 7.9% to 27,370.
In contrast, the number of remortgage approvals fell 3.1%, while the number of buy-to-let mortgages was flat at 5,100.
Commenting on the data, Brian Murphy, head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The report is based on April completions data, so whilst historic does provide us with an empirical ‘health check’ of the market.
“In real terms, one might suggest that today’s figures actually make for relatively reassuring reading.
“Buy-to-let lending remains steady, which is positive news for a sector that has seen many challenges of late.
“First-time buyer numbers also appear to be increasing, which is important to ensure that the market continues to function, with those taking their first steps on the property ladder providing the necessary upwards stimulus, and it’s also positive to see that the current conditions are lending support for this particular sector, both in terms of borrowing and overall affordability.
“The year-on-year rise in home movers perhaps suggests that, despite the ongoing Brexit brouhaha, movers are now just getting on with their lives, and if circumstances dictate then they are buying and selling regardless, again potentially a signal that the market is showing signs of stability.”
Property Industry Eye Contributed To This Article