20 Nov 2019
First-Time Buyers Take the Lead in UK Housing Market
There has been an increase in the number of first-time buyers entering the housing market, according to new data from UK Finance.
The figures, released this week, show that there were more first-time buyers taking their first steps onto the property ladder in September, compared to the same time last year. 29,100 mortgages were completed by this demographic group, which is a 1.6% increase on the number reported in September 2018.
In fact, the number of first-time homeowners surpassed the number of home movers in the same month. Overall, 50 fewer existing homeowners purchased properties when compared to first timers. Despite this, the total number of home movers was higher than last year’s figure for September.
Historically, home movers would outnumber first-time buyers. The shift in the market has been attributed to more parents opting to support their children financially when buying their first home and near-record lows in mortgage rates, which have come as a result of stagnation in the market.
Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, commented:
“Encouragingly, the number of first-time buyers continues to edge up as they take advantage of cheap mortgage rates at high loan-to-values and the continued support of the bank of mum and dad.
“Lenders are keen to lend, particularly as they look towards their year-end, and hardly a day goes by without another cutting its rates to attract business.”
UK Finance data has also revealed a decline in buy-to-let purchases over the past year. Mr Harris said that this trend was “no surprise with the tax and regulatory changes which have hit the sector”.
Conversely, remortgages are on the rise, with a total number of 17,740 in September – 5% higher than the same time last year.
“Remortgaging is also consistent with borrowers opting for cheap fixed rates in the main, as rates for five-year deals start from less than 1.5 per cent”, said Mr Harris.