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First time buyers and movers keep on borrowing despite Brexit

First time buyer, remortgaging and home mover loans increased year-on-year during September but the buy-to-let sector is still reeling from the government's assault.

Nigel Lewis


The mortgage markets for people moving home, remortgaging and buying their first home have experienced healthy increases despite the damage that Brexit is inflicting on consumer confidence and vendor numbers, latest lending figures reveal.

But the buy-to-let market’s problems are evident in the figures, which reveal how hard the extra taxes, costs and regulation is choking off activity among landlords.

Trade body UK Finance’s figures for September reveal that first time buyer mortgages increased year-on-year by 1.6% to 29,100.

Home moving mortgages increased by 1.8% to 29,500 and remortgaging with extra borrowing increased by 5.9% to 17,740. But buy-to-let mortgages were down by 3.5% to 5,500.

“This is a strong set of figures, with both new loans and especially remortgages showing a big improvement on the same time last year,” says John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages (left).

“This is offset by the steep fall in new buy-to-let mortgages – more than 11 per cent by value.

“There have been a number of changes to regulations in recent years, not to mention the impact of the Stamp Duty surcharge for buy-to-let.

“It would not be surprising if this was deterring landlords from expanding their portfolios and putting new entrants off altogether.”

Richard Pike (left) of Phoebus Software agrees, adding that the “buy-to-let sector is still suffering”.

“That may well be in line with the government’s plans but, with everything that has been thrown at landlords over the past eighteen months, it is hardly surprising that the foot has come off the pedal.

“Of course, things may be all about to change with the election just around the corner.”


November 20, 2019

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