UK Finance has revealed that there were 35,010 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in August 2019, 0.7% more than in the same month in 2018.
This is the highest monthly total since August 2007 when there were 35,070 new first-time buyer mortgages.
There were 35,380 homemover mortgages completed in August 2019, 5.5% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.
Meanwhile, there were 18,640 new remortgages with additional borrowing in August 2019, 2.9% fewer than in the same month in 2018. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in August was £55,000. There were 18,100 new pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing) in August 2019, 2.3% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.
UK Finance also said there were 5,900 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in August 2019, 3.3% fewer than the same month a year earlier. There were 13,800 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 0.7% fewer than in the same month in 2018.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Far from a housing market on its knees, new-first time buyer mortgages for August were at their highest level since the same month in 2007 showing real resilience. It also demonstrates the lengths lenders are going to in attracting first-time buyers with competitive mortgages at high loan-to-values and innovation on family lending products where families can help offspring onto the housing ladder.
“Homemover mortgages dipped slightly on the previous month, underlining how important the first-time buyer market is to lenders competing for a limited number of deals.
“Remortgaging continues to be strong as homeowners take advantage of cheap rates and stay put rather than moving to avoid paying the astronomical cost of doing so.
“Buy-to-let also remains surprisingly steady – there was a slight drop off in new purchase mortgages as novice landlords avoid the sector, leaving it to experienced landlords to expand portfolios as they look for opportunities.”
David Copland, director of mortgage services at TMA, added: “Remortgages continue to be an attractive option for borrowers looking to stay put. Borrowers are clearly benefitting from the competitive rates available and advisers have a strong pool of clients they should be getting in contact with to ensure they’re on the best deal available to them. With Yorkshire Building Society predicting that £26bn of fixed rate mortgages will mature in October alone, it’s clear to see the scale of this opportunity.
“Despite mixed press over recent months, product transfers are also a viable alternative for certain borrowers. Whilst this is an area of the market that until recently has been under-reported, it remains the role of the broker to know their client’s circumstances and which products are best tailored to them. The fact remains that in some cases this may well involve a product transfer.”