Building Finance News:- There were 370,000 first-time mortgages approved in 2018 – a 1.9% increase on the previous year, according to the latest UK Finance figures.

The £62 billion new lending in the year was 4.9% higher than in 2017 and the highest since 2006 when 402,800 first-time mortgages were granted.

Building Finance – HZA

There were 30,900 new first-time mortgages completed in December 2018, some 1.6% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £5.2 billion of new lending in the month was 4%  more year-on-year.

UK Finance mortgages director Jackie Bennett said: “Competitive deals and government schemes such as help-to-buy continue to boost the market.”

A healthy first-time buyer market is generally seen as good news for residential property developers seeking building finance.

Homeowner remortgaging reached 34,000 in December 2018, some 9.3% more than in the same month a year earlier. The £6.1 billion of remortgaging in the month was 13% more year-on-year.  In 2018, there were 476,900 new homeowner remortgages – 10.8% higher than in 2017. The £85 billion of new lending was 13% greater than in 2017.

Buy-to-let Feels Regulatory Pressure

But buy-to-let did not fare so well with 5,100 new mortgages completed in December 2018 – 5.6% less than in the same month a year earlier. In 2018, there were 66,400 new buy-to-let home purchases completed – 11.5% less than in 2017. The £9 billion of new lending was 15% less than in 2017.

Bricklane.com co-founder and chief executive officer Simon Heawood said: “Landlords are feeling the effects of being in HMRC’s crosshairs as the government continues to target buy-to-let. It’s no surprise that many private landlords are considering abandoning the sector as the costs begin to genuinely outweigh the benefits.”

But buy-to-let remortgaging was strong in 2018 with 169,100 remortgages completed – 11.2% more than in 2017. The £27 billion of new lending in the year was 11.6% more than in 2017.

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