First-time buyer total ‘highest since 2007’

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First-time buyer total ‘highest since 2007’

More than 300,000 first-time buyers were recorded in the UK last year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders

Friday 23 January 2015

The number of first-time buyers exceeded the 300,000 mark in the UK last year, according to new industry data.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of first-time property investors climbed to its highest point since 2007 over the course of the year.

The trade body said mortgages worth a combined sum of £205.6 billion were agreed with buyers overall during 2014. That represents the highest lending total since 2008.

The total value of home loans last year was also 17% stronger than the 2013 reading of £176 billion.

2007 comparisons

Despite these improvements, the CML warned that the 2014 total was still a long way off the lending figure of £362.7 billion which was achieved before the recession in 2007.

The group added that the number of mortgages being issued to first-time buyers is still below what it would call a normal level.

First-time buyers ‘remain important’

Bob Pannell, chief economist at the CML, said first-time investors continue to play a major role in the country’s overall housing market.

He added: “The number of first-time buyers topped the 300,000 mark. While a far cry from the half million that we might regard as ‘normal’, this was the highest number of first-time buyers since 2007.”

Help to Buy impact

The Government has launched a number of schemes in an effort to kick-start a housing market recovery in Britain, with Help to Buy among them.

These initiatives are thought to have fuelled a jump in activity during the early stages of last year, by making more low-deposit mortgage deals available.

However, stricter mortgage lending rules appear to have eased the demand for homes towards the close of 2014.

It is thought that some prospective homeowners are now less positive about securing a mortgage because of uncertainty over exactly when the base rate will go up.

Weaker December data

Monthly figures from the CML show that mortgages worth a combined £16.5 billion were issued to property buyers during December.

While the figure did not change between November and December, it was 1% lower in year-on-year terms.

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Copyright Press Association 2015 

“The number of first-time buyers topped the 300,000 mark. While a far cry from the half million that we might regard as ‘normal’, this was the highest number of first-time buyers since 2007.” Bob Pannell, chief economist at CML

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