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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Good news for agents as first time buyer numbers improve

There's good news for the market in at least one sector - mortgages offered to first time buyers.

Latest figures from the lenders’ organisation UK Finance shows that there were 32,640 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in July this year: this was 5.8 per cent more than in the same month in 2018. 

There were 32,710 homemover mortgages completed in July 2019, 1.4 per cent more than in the same month a year earlier.

There were 5,800 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in July, and this was 5.5 per cent more than in the same month last year. 

“Although a little historic, these figures confirm what we are seeing on the ground - in other words, the market is not collapsing and first-time buyers in particular remain active, taking advantage of various tax and regulatory changes which have compromised many accidental landlords in particular” explains Jeremy Leaf, the north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

“However, it is clear their departure has meant those landlords remaining in the sector have been able to profit from a reduction in supply of available properties which has meant rents have risen as a result” he adds.

“Market conditions remain far from ideal but it’s particularly encouraging to see that despite the government’s best efforts, there has not only been an increase in the number of new buy-to-let mortgages but also in the number of landlords remortgaging within the sector” explains the director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr.

“This suggests that landlords are sticking with their investment and with an influx of new investors, it’s clear that the buy-to-let sector remains an attractive one” von Grundherr suggests.

Meanwhile Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online agency Yopa, says: “These figures are still difficult to reconcile with HMRC’s numbers for the total number of home sales completing in the month, which was reported as a 12.4 per cent decrease for July, compared with July 2018. 

“The HMRC figure is provisional, and the numbers for earlier months have been revised upwards as more data has come in, so we expect that the July figure will also increase.”

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