UK Finance has reported that the number of remortgages in January 2018 reached a nine-year high while the number of first-time buyers and home movers both increased compared to the same period in the previous year.
There were 49,800 new homeowner remortgages completed in January 2018, some 19.1% more than in the same month a year earlier. This is the highest monthly number of remortgages since November 2008, when the figure stood at 51,300. The £8.9bn of remortgaging in January 2018 was 20.3% more year-on-year.
Meanwhile, there were 24,500 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in January 2018, some 7% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £4bn of new lending in the month was 11.1% more year-on-year. The average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £41,000.
UK Finance said there were 25,000 new home mover mortgages completed in January 2018, some 6.4% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.4bn of new lending in the month was 10.2% more year-on-year. The average home mover is 39 and has a gross household income of £55,000.
In addition, there were 5,600 new buy-to-let house purchase mortgages completed in January 2018, some 5.1% fewer than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £0.8bn of lending in the month, the same year-on-year.
There were 16,500 new buy-to-let remortgages completed in January 2018, some 17.9% more than in the same month a year earlier. By value this was £2.6bn of lending in the month, 18.2% more year-on-year.
Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Remortgaging in January reached a nine-year high, as a number of fixed rate mortgages came to an end while borrowers locked into attractive deals amid expectations of further interest rate rises.
“While an increase in remortgaging is expected in the New Year as people put their household finances in order, this strong growth is above the seasonal fluctuations we tend to see at this time of year.
“There was the usual dip in both first-time buyers and home-movers post the December festive period, but mortgage lending in both segments increased compared to the same period in 2017.
“However, growth in the buy-to-let market remains subdued, reflecting the ongoing impact of recent tax and regulatory changes.”
Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, added: “Following the Chancellor’s announcement of Stamp Duty relief helping 60,000 first-time buyers, the market clearly has its arms wide open for helping this group onto the property ladder.
“However, there are unfortunately some borrowers who do not receive the same warm welcome. Successful business owners, entrepreneurs and contractors are being turned away by high-street lenders for not fitting traditional lending standards. This is unfortunately leading to many being unable to secure home ownership. With self-employed workers now making up 15% of the UK workforce, more needs to be done by our industry as a whole to understand their background on a case by case basis. Until then, specialist lenders will support these borrowers and give them the chance they deserve.”