FTB numbers in London up on Q2 2018

There were 9,960 new first-time buyer (FTB) mortgages completed in London in Q2 2019, 1.2 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018.

Despite figures published by UK Finance last week highlighting that new mortgage completion levels were down, today’s data suggested that the slowdown this year may not be as severe as previously thought.

However, while FTB mortgage completions were up in the capital, homemover mortgage completions were down 3 per cent on the same quarter last year, dropping to 6,240.

Furthermore, remortgaging levels suffered during the period, tumbling 9.5 per cent in Q2 to 13,030 in London. The drop comes after a period of strong annual growth in remortgaging in the capital during 2018.

A similar trend was observed in Northern Ireland, with FTB mortgage completions up 4.1 per cent on Q2 2018, rising to 2,810. Additionally, there were 1,780 new homemover mortgages completed in Northern Ireland in the second quarter of 2019, 4.7 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018.

Unlike remortgaging levels in London, remortgaging levels in Northern Ireland increased by 16.5 per cent to 2,750 when compared to the same time last year.

There were 9,160 new FTB mortgages completed in Scotland in the second quarter of 2019, 3.5 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018. This is the highest volume of first-time buyers since the second quarter of 2017, when there were also 9,160.

Also, there were 9,290 new homemover mortgages completed in Scotland in the second quarter of 2019, 6.4 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018.

There were 8,870 new homeowner remortgages completed in Scotland in the second quarter of 2019, 15.3 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018.

The trend continued in the West, with 4,080 new FTB mortgage completions in Wales in the second quarter of 2019, 6.3 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018. There was also 3,650 new homemover mortgages completed in Wales in the second quarter of 2019, 1.7 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2018.

Remortgage levels also increased in Wales, with 4,870 new homeowner remortgages completed in the second quarter of 2019, 7.7 per cent more than Q2 2018.

Commenting, Just Mortgagaes and Spicerhaart national operations director John Phillips said: “Last week, UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends Report revealed that remortgaging fell, first-time buyer mortgages were down and homemover mortgages were down across the UK. But today, UK Finances Regional Lending Report paints a different picture.

“The regional stats – which are analysed on a quarterly basis - reveal that compared to Q2 2018, first-time buyer mortgages are up in every region. And while London has seen remortgaging and homemover mortgages fall, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there have been increases across the board compared to last year.”

Phillips claimed that the regional statistics revealed “just how much London impacts the national figures” and when the capital is taken out of the equation, it is a “very different picture”.

“It shows that perhaps it is not all doom and gloom as we have been led to believe over the past few months. When looked at on a quarterly basis - which you could argue reveals more of a longer term trend than monthly figures - activity is actually increasing, and that is great news for the housing market,” he concluded.

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