Home owners benefiting from low rates but loans to new buyers fall

Posted: 24/12/2016


Low mortgage rates may be helping home owners remortgage but they were little use to buyers and landlords in October, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggest.

Buy-to-let loans for house purchase fell heavily.

Data from the CML shows lending to buyers dropped 8% between September and October, and was down 13% year-on-year for home owners making a purchase and dropped 4% annually for first-time buyers.

This equates to 57,800 loans for owners for purchase and 28,900 for first-time buyers.

The value of loans to home movers also dropped 8% on a monthly basis and 20% year-on-year to 28,900 loans.

There were 18,600 loans to landlords, up 2% compared to September but down 25% compared to October 2015.

Meanwhile lending approvals for remortgage hit its highest levels since January 2009, the CML says with 34,700 home loans in October, up 10% month-on-month and 5% compared to a year ago.

This suggests record low mortgage and interest rates are helping existing home owners but may yet to have filtered through to new buyers.

Paul Smee, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said: “Buy-to-let house purchase lending remains weak following the change to Stamp Duty on second properties in April. With lenders now tightening affordability criteria ahead of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s stress tests and the forthcoming tax relief changes next year, these lower volumes are likely to be the ‘new normal’.

“Home owner and buy-to-let remortgage lending, however, has recovered and is running at its strongest levels since 2009.

“This appears to be linked to borrowers taking advantage of the re-pricing of mortgages following the base rate cut.”

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