UK Finance has reported that there were 29,490 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in December 2019, 0.3% more than in the same month in 2018. There were 29,400 homemover mortgages completed in December 2019, 3.2% more than in the same month a year earlier.
Meanwhile, UK Finance’s Mortgage Lending Trends data revealed there were 16,820 new remortgages with additional borrowing in December 2019, 5.9% more than in the same month in 2018. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in December was £50,702. There were 16,490 new pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing) in December 2019, 0.5% fewer than in December 2018.
In addition, there were 5,700 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in December 2019, 3.6% more than this time last year. There were 13,300 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 2.3% more than in the same month in 2018.
David Whittaker, CEO of Keystone Property Finance, said: “It is encouraging to see that Britain’s mortgage market remained resilient at the end of last year, despite continuing political and economic uncertainty. The buy-to-let sector has been buoyed in recent months, with falling rates and growing competition between lenders showing no signs of abating. However, increasing regulation in the market means some landlords and tenants are beginning to feel the strain.
“Changing tax relief rules, updated legalisation on energy efficiency standards and a range of additional regulatory policy changes coming into effect in 2020 means buy-to-let investors are increasingly diversifying their portfolios and looking for lenders who have a flexible approach. The role of mortgage brokers has never been more important to help these buy-to-let landlords navigate this shifting landscape and find the right mortgage for them. As the impact of these changes begins to be felt, it will be vital for lenders and brokers to work together to ensure the market can meet the unique needs of each buy-to-let landlord.”