First-time buyer numbers rise: UK Finance

First-time buyer numbers were up in London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales during the second quarter, the latest figures from UK Finance show.
The capital saw the smallest increase in first-time buyer mortgage completions of all four regions covered by the data, with a rise of just 1.2 per cent year on year to 9,960.
Wales saw the biggest jump, with an increase of 6.3 per cent to 4,080.
In Northern Ireland first-time buyer numbers rose by 4.1 per cent to 2,810, while in Scotland they were up by 3.5 per cent to 9,160.
In the remortgage market there was a significant divide between regions, with numbers in London down by 9.5 per cent annually to 13,030, while in Northern Ireland they were up by 16.5 per cent to 2,750.
Scotland saw a 15.3 per cent jump in remortgage business to 8,870 and in Wales there was a 7.7 per cent increase to 4,870.
As falling remortgage business, the number of people borrowing to move home in the capital was also in decline.
There was a 3 per cent drop in new loans to London home movers to 6,240.
In Scotland loans to home movers were up by 6.4 per cent to 9,290, in Northern Ireland they were up by 4.7 per cent to 1,780 and in Wales they rose by 1.7 per cent to 3,650.
There were significant variations in measures of first-time buyer affordability in the regions covered.
Unsurprisingly London had the worst affordability with the highest average age for a first-time buyer at 33 and the largest average loan to income multiple at 3.8.
In both Scotland and Wales the average age of first-time buyers is 31, while in Northern Ireland it is 32. 
Northern Ireland has the lowest average income multiple of all four locations measured at 3.02.
Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart national operations director John Phillips points out that today’s figures, which are based on quarterly numbers, paint a very different picture to more gloomy data released last week by UK Finance which showed first-time buyer numbers, home movers and remortgagors were down across the UK..
He says:  “The regional stats – which are analysed on a quarterly basis – reveal that compared to Q2 2018, first-time buyer mortgages are up in every region.
“And while London has seen remortgaging and home mover mortgages fall, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there have been increases across the board compared to last year.
Phillips adds: “I think this shows two things: firstly, it reveals just how much London impacts the national figures, and that when you take the capital out of the stats, it is a very different picture.
“Secondly, it shows that perhaps it is not all doom and gloom as we have been led to believe over the past few months.
“When looked at on a quarterly basis – which you could argue reveals more of a longer term trend than monthly figures – activity is actually increasing, and that is great news for the housing market.”
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