Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Mortgage lending falls 11% as number of homes for sale dips

Mortgage lending falls 11% as number of homes for sale dips

Meanwhile, a recent Equifax Touchstone analysis of the intermediary marketplace, reveals mortgage sales for the United Kingdom fell by £2.62 billion in April - down 16 per cent on the previous month.

The CML's senior economist, Mohammad Jamei, said: "The housing market appears to be, for want of a better phrase, moving sideways".

The latest CML market commentary says it has no detailed breakdown of the figure yet, but that it thinks the main drivers will be first-time buyers and remortgage customers. We expect this trend to continue over the coming months. The low number of movers means fewer properties for sale. This supply and demand imbalance will continue to underpin house price values, even as the rate of price rises slows, ' he added.

The recent rise in the level of both first-time buyer and remortgage lending is expected to "maintain momentum" thanks to the "very attractive deals" now available, according to a leading mortgage expert. "Inflationary pressures will pass and low rates will continue, and the mortgage market will remain robust".

John Goodall, chief executive officer of buy to let specialist Landbay, also believes it is not a long term trend.

The market continued to be driven by first-time buyers, who have now overtaken the number of home movers for the first time since 1996, and remortgagors.

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House purchase activity in the buy-to-let sector now accounts for just under a third of all buy-to-let lending - down from 40 per cent before the change.

"While the first quarter of the year is acknowledged as one of the more quiet periods in the property market, the continued year-on-year growth represents a solid performance for transactions in Northern Ireland, and is in line with what we're experiencing across all five regional Templeton Robinson branches, he said".

"The overall mortgage market shows a dip in first-time buyer activity from the fourth quarter 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, but at Danske we have actually seen a rise in activity quarter on quarter, demonstrating the strength of our first time buyer offering". There are plenty of buying opportunities at the moment with a Bank of England rate rise unlikely to happen before 2019, ' he explained. "Rates and deals in the remortgage market are very competitive as we are still in a very low interest rate environment, so clearly people see this as a good time to remortgage", he said. "I expect it to remain relatively steady for the foreseeable future".

'Lending levels are therefore being maintained, but are struggling to kick up a gear.

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at Iress, said the figures came as "no surprise" in the context of a slowing market.

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