More mortgages handed out to first-time buyers

More first-time buyers got on the property ladder in September than a year earlier, mortgage lending figures from a trade association show.

But the number of properties being bought by landlords to rent out was down annually.

Some 29,100 new first-time buyer mortgages were handed out in September – 1.6% higher than in September 2018, UK Finance said.

The number of existing home owners moving properties was also up year-on-year, with 29,050 home mover mortgages completed in September, 1.8% more than in the same month a year earlier.

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Meanwhile, 5,500 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages were completed in September 2019, marking a 3.5% fall compared with the same month last year.

The figures also show growing numbers of home owners borrowing extra amounts of cash.

There were 17,740 new re-mortgages with additional borrowing in September, 5.9% more than in the same month in 2018.

The average additional amount borrowed in September was £50,000.

There were also 19,140 new “pound-for-pound” re-mortgages with no additional borrowing in September, 8% more than in September 2018.

Among landlords, re-mortgaging levels remained unchanged compared with a year earlier.

There were also 12,900 re-mortgages in the buy-to-let sector – the same amount as in September 2018.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Encouragingly, the number of first-time buyers continues to edge up as they take advantage of cheap mortgage rates at high loan-to-values and the continued support of the bank of mum and dad.

“Re-mortgaging is also consistent with borrowers opting for cheap fixed rates in the main, as rates for five-year deals start from less than 1.5%.

“Lenders are keen to lend, particularly as they look towards their year-end, and hardly a day goes by without another cutting its rates to attract business.

“Buy-to-let numbers fell again but that is no surprise with the tax and regulatory changes which have hit the sector.”