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More first time buyers but fewer landlords, according to mortgage data

There was an increase in the number of first time buyers getting on the property ladder in September compared to the same month in 2018 according to UK Finance. 

On the downside, however, there was a fall in the number of homes being bought by landlords.

Some 29,100 new first-time buyer mortgages were handed out in September, a modest 1.6 per cent rise year on year.


The number of existing home owners moving properties was also up year-on-year, with 29,050 home mover mortgages completed in September - a 1.8 per cent annual rise.

However, a 3.5 per cent annual drop in buy to let purchases mean there were just 5,500 mortgages for this category in September. 

There were 17,740 new re-mortgages with additional borrowing in September, almost six per cent up on 2018.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “It’s good to see more first time buyer mortgages completed in September, showing how this group are continuing to take the place of buy to let landlords still discouraged from adding to portfolios by successive tax and regulatory changes, with more on the way. 

“However, so much seems to have happened since first-time buyers were probably deciding on that purchase that not too much can be read into these figures. Since then we have found that first-time buyers and homemovers are slightly stuck in limbo awaiting hopefully more positive political and economic signals before making a move.”

And Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, comments: “Buy to let numbers fell again but that is no surprise … the good news for landlords is that buy-to-let rates are also competitive so remortgaging to keep costs low seems a sensible approach that many are undertaking.”


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