Widely-anticipated rate rise 'boosted re-mortgage lending in September'

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Mortgage lending fell back in September but remained higher than a year earlier, banks and building societies have reported.

First-time buyers borrowed a total of £5.1 billion in September, down 11% on the previous month but 4% higher than in September 2016, according to trade body UK Finance.

Home movers borrowed £6.9 billion, down 18% on August but 6% higher year-on-year.

Meanwhile, home owner re-mortgage activity totalled £6.4 billion, the same amount as in August but 16% higher than a year ago.

And buy-to-let lending totalled £2.9 billion, down 9% on August but 4% higher than in September 2016.

UK Finance's head of mortgage policy June Deasy said: "Although lending slackened in September, it remained higher than a year ago.

"Re-mortgaging was particularly strong, with borrowers seeking to lock into historically low interest rates in advance of the widely-anticipated rise in Bank base rate at the beginning of November.

"Over the last year, the number of loans for re-mortgaging has been higher than in any period since 2009.

"Low borrowing rates mean that mortgage repayments as a proportion of income remain at or close to their historic low point.

"While this ratio may edge upward in the coming months, monthly mortgage payments will remain affordable for the vast majority of borrowers."


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