UK Finance has published its Mortgage Trends Update for April 2019.
There were 27,370 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in April 2019, 7.9% more than in the same month in 2018. There were 25,450 homemover mortgages completed in April 2019, 6.4% more than in the same month a year earlier.
There were 18,920 new remortgages with additional borrowing in April 2019, 0.3% more than in the same month in 2018. For these remortgages, the average amount taken out in April was £54,000. Additionally, 19,140 were simple pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing), 6.2% fewer than in April 2018. In total, there were 3.1% less residential remortgages in April 2019 than in the same month a year earlier.
There were 5,100 new buy-to-let house purchase mortgages completed in April 2019, the same as this time last year. There were 14,400 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, the same as this time last year.
Jonathan Sealey, CEO at Hope Capital, said: “The latest UK Finance figures show that after a low end to 2018 and start to 2019, things are really starting to pick up in the homemover lending market.
“First-time buyer mortgages have seen a rise of 7.9%, but this is not a huge surprise, as it is this area of the market that has remained strong throughout what has been quite a muted period in the mortgage market.
“What is encouraging is that we can see that for the second month running homemover mortgages are up, marking a rise of 6.4% on a year ago. And while I wouldn’t want to suggest this is a huge shift in sentiment, it is a positive sign, and, as the summer months tend to be the busiest in terms of home purchase, this figure will likely rise further over the next few months.
“Interestingly though, remortgaging – which has been strong for many months – is down 6.2% for simple finance and up just 0.3% for remortgages with equity withdrawn, In terms of the value of these, both simple refinance and equity remortgages are down. With a steady rise over the past few years in the trend for making home improvements rather than moving, this could suggest some homeowners looking to remortgage in order to add value to their homes ie for a larger equity withdrawal – are now looking to alternative funding for a more tailored service.
“Specialist lenders are continuing to see steady business coming through suggesting that customers increasingly turn to lenders who can offer them a more bespoke solution.”