First-time buyers see strong start to 2020
First-time buyers took advantage of the start of the new year, increasing their market share in January, according to the latest figures from e.surv.
Overall, mortgage approvals dipped slightly in January following a bumper December, recording a 1.8% fall. However, small deposit borrowers increased their market share from 25.5% to 26.7%.
Yorkshire has consistently proved itself to be the best place for first-time buyers to get onto the ladder in 2019, and this continued into the new year. In the region, some 33.6% of all loans went to borrowers with smaller deposits, higher than any other region.
The closest challenger was the North West, where 30.9% of loans went to this group, and the Midlands, which recorded 29.8% during January.
Remortgage activity was also strong in January, with borrowers taking the opportunity to switch to a new lender and seal a low rate at the start of the year. This caused a spike in the proportion of loans being taken out by mid-market customers during the month.
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, commented: “While the market fell slightly following the December bump, rumours of a Bank of England base rate cut appear to have had little appreciable impact on the mortgage market, with a strong performance among several key buyer groups in January.
“Existing homeowners benefited from low remortgage rates and were persuaded to switch to a new deal, while new buyers also swooped to seal low interest rates for their first purchase.
“The new Chancellor is due to present the government’s Spring Budget in March – the first opportunity for the Johnson government to lay out its spending plans.
“Homeowners, lenders, housebuilders, and anyone else with a stake in the UK housing market, will be watching with interest.”
Source: Financial Reporter