Loans to first-time buyers rise 34% in Q1, CML figures show
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says there were 34% more loans to first-time buyers in Q1 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
The total number of new loans to all homeowners for house purchase increased 4% in March compared to the previous month and was 17% up on March 2013. First-time buyers took out 24,400 loans in March, 24% more than in March last year.
Buy to let was a mixed picture. Gross buy-to-let loans advanced increased in March by 10% compared to February and up a huge 56% on March last year. First quarter results show gross buy-to-let loans advanced rose just 1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013 but up 46% in volume compared to quarter one last year.
CML members undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.2 million mortgages with loans worth over £1.2 trillion.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "The lending market continues to strengthen albeit not at the frenetic pace seen at the end of last year. The combination of cheap finance and lenders with a real appetite to lend shows no signs of diminishing.
"It is too early to say what impact the MMR (lending criteria) will have but it will ensure that affordability is not compromised as house prices continue to rise. Even if borrowers do lack prudence and want to overburden themselves with a mortgage that they will struggle to pay when interest rates rise, the new rules mean they simply can't."