Buy-to-let mortgage activity dips

There was a steady increase in mortgage lending for first-time-buyers and home movers in November compared with the previous month and the equivalent

There was a steady increase in mortgage lending for first-time-buyers and home movers in November compared with the previous month and the equivalent period in 2016.

This is according to data from UK Finance, formerly the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which also revealed there were 34,800 new first-time buyer mortgages in the month, some 15.2 per cent more than in the same month a year earlier. 

The £5.6bn of new lending in the month was 16.7 per cent more year-on-year and the average first-time buyer is 30 and has an income of £40,000.

There were 36,200 new home mover mortgages in the month, some 16.8 per cent more than in the same month a year earlier. 

The £7.5bn of new lending in the month was 19 per cent more year-on-year and the average home mover was 39 and had an income of £54,000.

But there were 6,600 new buy-to-let house purchase mortgages in the month, some 1.5 per cent less than in the same month a year earlier. 

There were also 13,500 new buy-to-let remortgages in the month, some 3.6 per cent less than in the same month a year earlier. 

By value this was £2.1bn of lending in the month, 4.5 per cent down year-on-year.

  Latest   
(Nov-2017) Y-o-Y comparison
First-time  
buyers 34,800 15.20%
Home movers 36,200 16.80%

Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said declines in buy-to-let lending reflected the changing regulatory and fiscal environment for landlord businesses, where some landlords might be inclined to reappraise the viability of their portfolios.

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said the market was clearly proving to be fairly resilient, with first-time buyers taking advantage of competitive mortgage deals and slowing house price growth. 

But he said for landlords the picture is less rosy, with many reassessing their portfolios in light of tax changes. 

Mr Harris said: “However, we still believe there are opportunities for investors when it comes to buy-to-let, although there may be fewer novices taking the plunge in future.”

emma.hughes@ft.com

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