First-time buyer mortgage lending in June highest for nine years

More mortgages were handed out to first-time buyers in June than in any other month since 2007, banks and building societies have reported.

People taking their first step on the property ladder took out 34,300 loans for house purchase in June with a total value of £5.5 billion - marking a 24% leap in the number of loans compared with May and 17% more than in June 2015.

The report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows the June figure is the highest for first-time buyer lending since 35,300 loans were handed out in August 2007.

Existing home-owners who were moving house took out 33,900 loans in June, up 28% on May and 0.3% on the same month a year earlier.

June was the third month running that the number of first-time buyer loans being handed out was running at a higher level than the number of home-mover mortgages. This trend had not been seen previously for 20 years.

The cut in the Bank of England base rate to 0.25% last week could mean some first-time buyers find they can get cheaper mortgage deals in the coming months, although experts have also warned that low savings returns will make it harder for aspiring first-time buyers to build a deposit.

The CML's figures mostly reflect the housing market in the run-up to the referendum, with the vote taking place on June 23.

They also show that lending to buy-to-let landlords showed signs of recovering in June, after a three percentage point stamp duty hike for this sector was imposed on April 1.

Some 6,000 loans were handed out to those purchasing buy-to-let properties in June, marking a jump of one third (33%) compared with May. But the figure is still 42% lower than it was in June 2015.

Paul Smee, director-general of the CML, said: "These figures reveal growth in house purchase activity and in particular for first-time buyers. As ever, there is uncertainty and it will take more time and patience to understand how the market will evolve in the current environment - these figures predominantly cover activity in the run-up to the referendum.

"We still believe that the mortgage market is well capitalised, resilient and open for business, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

"First-time buyers are continuing to drive house purchase lending, outperforming home- movers for the third month running.

"More loans were advanced to them in June than at any time since August 2007.

"Buy-to-let house purchase activity remains lower than before the stamp duty changes at the beginning of April, but showed a large month-on-month increase."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said June's lending figures show a "robust market with a good representation of first-time buyers".

He said: "Admittedly the figures are for the run-up to the referendum so it is too early to say what impact that has had on the market.

"What we are seeing post-referendum is lenders keen to lend, resulting in some very attractive mortgage rates. Despite last week's base rate reduction already being factored in to the pricing of many mortgage deals, falling swap rates have since enabled some lenders to cut rates further."

Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said: "We expect lending to continue to grow on an annual basis, but at a less pronounced level now following the outcome of the EU referendum, which may cause some to wait until the dust settles before getting on the property ladder."

Most viewed properties of 2015
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Most viewed properties of 2015

The tenth most viewed property of the year on Zoopla, was this beauty in Penrith.

It went on the market in August for just £100,000, and the low price and the opportunity for transformation drew in thousands of people looking for a potential project.

This lovely home was the ninth most popular property of the view. Potential viewers were drawn by the opportunity to buy a five-bedroom detached property, complete with a garage and a drive, for just £187,950.

The eighth most viewed property was another relatively new, detached property, with a garage.

This home also boasts four bedrooms for just £197,950

Seventh place is impressive for a property that only hit the market in November.

It's another relatively new detached property with a garage, at the rock-bottom price - of £180,000

The cheapest home in the top ten comes in at number 6. For just £40,000 you get three bedrooms and a garage in Liverpool.

It's no wonder that so many people, who have been squeezed by soaring property prices, are keen to view a property that offers a glimpse of hope.

In fifth place is the first of two mega-expensive homes on the list - and by far the most unusual. This one, in Newport, south Wales, hit the market in February for £1,899 950.

The 1720s hunting lodge and tower had been transformed during an episode of Grand Designs in 2009 - by a couple who added a dramatic glass extension. Thousands of us couldn't resist having a look around.

This swanky new-ish property in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, made number four, despite only going on the market in October.

It ticks all the boxes that have put so many of these properties on the list - being detached, and offering five bedrooms plus a garage.

The price reflects the fact it offers all that - in one of the priciest parts of the country. It makes it the most expensive property in the top ten.

A detached property in Bradford, offering three bedrooms for just £149,950 made it to number three.

It's perhaps unsurprising that it attracted so much interest, because it's one of the cheapest properties in the top ten, and the many thousands of viewers must have been astonished they could get so much family home for their money.

The joint-second cheapest property on the list is the second most viewed property in the country.

It benefited from the fact that it went on the market at the end of 2014, so had plenty of time to attract viewers. However, the appeal of a detached, 3-bedroom house for just £100,000 drew viewers in their thousands.

The number one most viewed property in 2015 was this 6-bedroom farmhouse in County Durham.

It demonstrates that we're a nation of dreamers, drawn by the affordable £175,000 price tag - as well as the huge potential of a six-bedroom farmhouse, outbuildings, almost eight acres of land and planning permission for a wind turbine.

It's no wonder s many thousands of us popped online to dream of a cheaper and simpler life in the country.


UK property purchases plunge post-Brexit

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