July remortgaging reaches highest level since January

July remortgaging reaches highest level since January

House purchase lending in July was lower than in the preceding month but higher than a year earlier, according to UK Finance.

First-time buyers borrowed £5 billion, 15% lower than in June but 14% higher than in July 2016.  They took out 30,400 mortgages, down 16% on the preceding month but up 8% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, home movers borrowed £7.1 billion, 9% less than in June but 15% more than in July last year.  This equated to 32,800 loans, down 10% on June but up 10% on July 2016.

In addition, remortgaging by home owners totalled £6.7 billion, 12% more than in both the preceding month and in July last year.  The number of people remortgaging totalled 36,800, up 7% on June and 10% higher than a year ago.

Buy-to-let lending totalled £3.2 billion, 7% higher than in June and 7% higher than in July last year.  This equated to 20,500 mortgages, 5% more than in June and 9% more than in July last year.

June Deasy, UK Finance’s head of mortgages policy, said: “Remortgaging strengthened in July and reached its highest level since January, with customers attracted by borrowing rates that are at or close to their historic low point. The increase in activity in July means that, over the last year, the number of people remortgaging has been at its highest since 2009.

“Lending for house purchase was lower in July than in the preceding month, and we expect the market to continue to soften a little in the coming months.”

On a seasonally adjusted basis, lending to first-time buyers and home movers declined modestly in value, although the number of loans was unchanged. The value and number of people remortgaging increased, and there was a smaller increase in both the value and volume of buy-to-let lending.

The proportion of household income taken up by monthly mortgage payments nudged upwards in July for both first-time buyers (17.4%) and movers (17.6%). But it remained low by historical standards, UK Finance said.

The average amount borrowed by a first-time buyer edged up from £138,750 in June to £139,000 in July. The average first-time buyer household income declined marginally, which means that their average income multiple nudged up from 3.59 to 3.60.

The average amount borrowed by movers was unchanged at £180,000, as was their average income multiple of 3.39.