Mortgage lending up 5%

Remortgaging and first-time buyers responsible for continued rise

Gross mortgage lending rose by 5 per cent in April, according to figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

A total of £3.4 billion was lent to borrowers remortgaging in April, up by 10 per cent compared to March. First-time buyers took out 19,400 loans worth £2.5 billion in April, down one per cent on March though this figures is distorted by the effect of the end of the stamp duty concession on lending in March and April last year.

Indeed, first time buyer activity in the first four months of this year (70,700 loans) is 11 per cent higher than the same period last year and first-time buyers continue to account for an increased proportion of all house purchase loans. Around 46 per cent of all house purchase loans in April went to first-time buyers, a figure unchanged from March.

Peter Williams, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said: "The five per cent increase in gross mortgage lending reported today can be largely attributed to a rise in remortgage activity  with little change in relation to house purchase lending and home movers. However, first-time buyers continue to dominate and are accounting for a growing proportion of the mortgage lending total. Despite witnessing a one per cent fall in the number of loans taken out by first time buyers, the typical amount borrowed has increased, meaning that the overall value of loans has remained at the same level as this time last year.

"Despite the fact that the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme has not yet been introduced these figures show that lenders are already offering a helping hand to first time buyers with small deposits."

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) said: "Gross mortgage lending blossomed this spring as a wealth of mortgage products and increasingly attractive mortgage rates arrived on the market. New buyers and homeowners alike have been keen to make the most of the great deals of offer, with a flurry of activity in the both remortgaging and first-time buyer arenas. Strong first-time buyer activity is particularly heartening."

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: "Growth in the housing market is steady rather than spectacular and certainly not back at the levels seen at the height of the housing boom. Remortgaging gained some ground in April but one would still expect to see more of this, given the rock-bottom mortgage rates now available. It may be that borrowers are sat on attractive reversion rates or standard variable rates so don't wish to remortgage, or are trapped because of tighter criteria or lack of equity in their homes so can't switch. There may also be borrowers holding out for even better rates. However, borrowers should look at rates in an historical context - these are the cheapest rates ever seen and even if they do edge a little lower, snapping one up now might be a good move. Don't assume they will be around for ever."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living