UK Finance has reported that mortgage lending for first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagors increased in February 2018 compared to 2017.
Total homeowner purchases, which combine both home movers and first-time buyers, reached 50,000, the highest level for February since 2007.
There were 25,200 first-time buyer mortgages completed in February 2018, some 2.4% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £4bn of new lending in the month was 2.6% more year-on-year. The average first-time buyer is 30 with a gross household income of £41,000.
There were 24,800 home mover mortgages completed in the month, the same as in February a year earlier. The £5.3bn of new lending in the month was 1.9% more year-on-year. The average home mover is 39 and has a gross household income of £55,000.
There were 35,400 homeowner remortgages completed in the month, some 11.3% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £6bn of remortgaging in the month was 11.1% more year-on-year.
There were 5,200 buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in the month, some 8.8% fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.7bn of lending in the month, 12.5% down year-on-year.
There were 14,100 buy-to-let remortgages completed in the month, some 20.5% more than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £2.2bn of lending in the month, 15.8% more year-on-year.
Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Homebuyers have shaken off the winter blues, with purchases by first-time buyers and home movers reaching their highest levels for February in over a decade.
“Remortgages are also up year-on-year, as homeowners look to fix costs amid anticipation of further interest rate rises.
“Meanwhile the buy-to-let market continues to operate at stable but subdued levels, due in part to the impact of recent legislative and tax changes.”
Danny Belton, head of lender relationships at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Activity within the mortgage market remained buoyant in February. The plethora of new products on the market combined with near record low rates is creating favourable conditions for buyers, giving them greater flexibility and choice. This is contributing to the increased lending we are seeing to first-time buyers.
“However, for any would-be borrowers unsure of where to start, speaking with a mortgage broker is a sensible first step. Not only will they be able to guide you through the intricacies of the mortgage market, but can give consumers access to thousands more products than going direct to a lender. This means they’ll have a much greater chance of finding the most appropriate product for their circumstance.”