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First-Time Buyers continue to drive housing market


Last week UK Finance published their mortgage trends data for April which re-confirmed that first-time buyers were the key driver of activity in April. Given Help to Buy, the strong jobs market, increased product choice at higher loan-to-values and lower house prices, it’s no surprise they are leading the way.

The increase in homemover mortgages also underlines how Brexit indifference trumped Brexit uncertainty in the first quarter of the year. During 2019, the whole issue of Brexit has become so surreal that many households are no longer willing to put their real lives on hold for it, all the more so given that interest rates are at rock-bottom.

Improving wage growth is also making people feel more confident and confidence drives the property market.

That the average remortgage saw £54,000 of additional borrowing also shows how many people are adding value to their existing homes in anticipation of a sale further down the line when the market improves.

What’s also interesting is that the impact of recent tax changes on the buy-to-let market appears to have settled down. The buy to let market is not what it was but has now reached a new equilibrium.

For standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.35%, (3.84% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.75%, (3.62% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.29%, (3.82% APRC).

Those looking at Buy-To-Let can still obtain products from just 1.39%, (4.71% APRC) for a 2-year tracker or 5-year fixes are available from 1.99% (4.43% APRC).

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