First-time buyers increasedThe number of first-time buyers increased by 3 per cent in February, marking the best start to a year since 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Activity in the first-time buyer sector was 17 per cent stronger in February than in February last year, and combined with January reached the largest number of first-time buyers in the first two months of the year since 2008. Lending to home movers fell – contributing to an overall dip in house purchase lending – while remortgage lending also eased.
Lending to home movers fell in February for the third consecutive month. A total of 21,500 loans were advanced to borrowers who moved in February, down by 4 per cent compared to January and a fall of 3 per cent on February last year. By value, home movers were advanced 3.5 billion in February, a 5 per cent fall compared to January.
House purchase lending
The underlying trend for resilient house purchase lending continued in February, with lending stronger than a year earlier. A total of 37,900 loans (worth £5.5 billion) were advanced in February, up by 5 per cent on the same time last year (36,400 loans). Month on month, house purchase lending dipped in February compared to January when 38,200 loans were advanced.
Director General of CML, Paul Smee, Commenting on the data, saying: “First-time buyers are continuing to take advantage of more favourable market conditions, helping to drive the underlying trend for resilient house purchase lending. We hope that the new initiatives announced by the government in the 2013 Budget will further stimulate first-time buyer activity but also help those ‘second steppers’ looking to move into a new or existing home.”
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