First time buyer mortgage numbers up by a quarter

Overall rate of increase not as 'frenetic' as at the end of 2013

First time buyer mortgage figures rose 24 per cent in March compared to same period last year, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The total number of new loans to homeowners for buying a house increased four per cent in March compared to February and was 17 per cent up on March 2013. 

"All types of lending show positive year-on-year growth," said Paul Smee, director general of the CML, "but the rate of increase is not as frenetic as at the end of 2013.

"The new regulation of mortgages has now been introduced, but it will still be some time until we can assess its effect on the market. The industry was ready for the transition, and already actively implementing many of the changes prior to April. We do not anticipate prolonged disruption to the market as a consequence. But we still see affordability constraints as an important factor in determining the level of demand for mortgages which we see over the next year."

Andy Frankish, New Homes Director at the Mortgage Advice Bureau said first-time buyer numbers have been spurred on by easier access to high loan-to-value lending and smaller deposit requirements.

"With the trend for increasing consumer demand likely to continue, it is now up to the construction market to respond by ramping up production of new homes. Government plans for a Right to Build scheme should encourage more consumers to self-build, an area of the market which is relatively underused but ripe for opportunity. With enough support from local councils and the government, the common misconception that self-build is restricted to a privileged few should be corrected and those with aspirations to build their perfect home will find the help they need."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: "It is too early to say what impact the MMR will have but it will ensure that affordability is not compromised as house prices continue to rise. Even if borrowers do lack prudence and want to overburden themselves with a mortgage that they will struggle to pay when interest rates rise, the new rules mean they simply can't."

Andy Knee, Chief Executive of Legal Marketing Services said the figures showed that even before its introduction, MMR has already made changes to the market. "Despite year-on-year growth, both home-owner house purchase and remortgaging loans have seen falls compared to the last three months of 2013," he said. "Remortgaging was the first to feel the impact of MMR as lenders slowed lending in anticipation of the sweeping reforms, while a hiking of mortgage rates also discouraged many borrowers to swap deals."

George Spencer, chief executive officer of lettings agency Rentify, said: "These figures highlight the continuing strength of the buy-to-let sector. With the number of buy-to-let mortgages advanced up 46 per cent on the same quarter last year, it is an indication of the confidence investors have in the rental property market. The growing demand for rental properties and the availability of buy-to-let mortgages with easier eligibility criteria and low rates has again proven key to the success of this vital part of the UK economy.

"It remains to be seen if the political manoeuvring by the main parties will have any effect on this confidence, though neither the Coalition nor Labour have shown a clear understanding of the issues affecting the rental market. The government’s announcement that tenant fees charged by letting agents must be published more clearly proved to be a half-hearted attempt to gain column inches that will do nothing to address the culture of over-charging tenants by traditional letting agents."

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories