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First-Time Buyer Numbers at 12-Year High


Last week I spoke about how many more products there are for First-Time Buyers and we have just seen confirmation of the reason why as UK Finance reported that the number of First-Time Buyers hit a 12-year high in 2018.

According to the report, “There were 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018, some 1.9 per cent more than in 2017. This is the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since 2006, when this figure stood at 402,800”.

The Lifeblood of the Property Market

As we mentioned to the BBC, “First-time buyers are the lifeblood of the industry. Mortgage lenders are [making] more products available for borrowers with smaller deposits and a fair amount of innovation taking place, such as family deposit schemes.”

The prevailing low rate environment, Government schemes such as Help to Buy and good old-fashioned competition between lenders have helped to encourage more people to take that all important first step on to the property ladder. With amateur Buy to Let landlords being stifled by tax changes, there is also more property available for First timers.

Despite the political landscape, people realise that they cannot put their lives on hold indefinitely and we have started to see a slow release of pent-up demand. With mortgage rates so low it is often the case that the monthly mortgage costs can be less than monthly rental costs, which is a further encouragement.

Whilst this is a real boon for the property market, the issue, however, remains the deposit itself rather than access to mortgage finance. In many cases it is those lucky enough to have parental assistance who are able to take advantage of these products whilst those who don’t still struggle to save the required deposit levels.

What we all want to see is a healthy property market with more truly affordable properties, realistic prices and more transactions.

Rest of the UK Finance Report

UK Finance also reported that:

  • In 2018, there were 367,800 new homemover mortgages completed, some 1.9 per cent less than in 2017. The £80 billion of new lending in the year was the same as in 2017.


  • In 2018, there were 476,900 new homeowner remortgages completed, some 10.8 per cent more than in 2017. The £85 billion of new lending in the year was 13 per cent more than in 2017.


  • In 2018, there were 66,400 new buy-to-let home purchases completed, some 11.5 per cent less than in 2017. The £9 billion of new lending in the year was 15 per cent less than in 2017.


  • . In 2018, there were 169,100 new buy-to-let remortgages completed, some 11.2 per cent more than in 2017. The £27 billion of new lending in the year was 11.6 per cent more than in 2017.

Latest Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rate wise things are still pretty much the same. For standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.40%, (3.78% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.80%, (3.36% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.34%, (3.82% APRC).

Those looking at Buy-To-Let can still obtain products from just 1.44%, (4.44% APRC) for a 2-year tracker or 5-year fixes are available from 2.04% (4.40% APRC).

For more information on these rates or your access to First-Time Buyer products, contact us here.

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