Number of first-time buyer loans handed out climbs year on year

The number of mortgages being handed out to first-time buyers was higher year on year for the fifth month in a row in February, according to trade association UK Finance.

It said 24,880 new first-time buyer mortgages were completed in February, 4.1% more than in the same month in 2018.

Meanwhile 23,660 mortgages were handed out to home-movers in February – a slight 0.1% year-on-year increase.

UK Finance said that, while home-mover numbers are at around the same levels they were at this time last year, this is the fifth month in a row of year-on-year growth in first-time buyers.

Re-mortgaging levels also increased in February compared with a year earlier.

There were 18,200 new re-mortgage loans where additional amounts were borrowed in February, 10% more than in the same month in 2018.

For these re-mortgages, the average amount taken out in February was £52,000.

Additionally, there were 18,360 re-mortgages with no additional borrowing, 7.8% more than in the same period last year.

The average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio in the re-mortgaging market was 57% – considerably lower than the average LTV ratio of 72% for mortgages taken out by home-buyers.

Meanwhile, there were 4,800 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in February 2019, 7.7% down on the same month in 2018.

UK Finance said that, while buy-to-let house purchases continue to contract due to tax and regulatory changes, buy-to-let re-mortgaging has been increasing as borrowers lock into new attractive rates.

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