The mortgage industry helped 370,000 people buy their first home in 2018, the highest number in twelve years according to UK Finance, the trade body for High Street Banks. It has highlighted competitive deals and government schemes such as Help to Buy continuing to boost the market. Homeowner remortgaging also saw strong growth driven by customers locking into attractive rates, a trend that is expected to continue in 2019 as more fixed-rate mortgages come to an end.
Demand for new buy-to-let purchases continues to be dampened by recent tax and regulatory changes. However, the number of buy-to-let remortgages reached a record high of almost 170,000 last year, suggesting many landlords remain committed to the market.
Research shows that there were 370,000 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018, some 1.9 per cent more than in 2017. This is the highest number of first-time buyer mortgages since 2006, when this figure stood at 402,800. The £62 billion of new lending in the year was 4.9 per cent more than in 2017.
For the month of December there were 30,900 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in 2018, some 1.6 per cent more than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.2 billion of new lending in the month was 4 per cent more year-on-year.
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