November rise in first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder

Sebastian McCarthy
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UK Finance found that the average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000 (Source: Getty)

First-Time buyers bolstered the UK mortgage market in November, as competitive deals and schemes such as Help to Buy boosted the number of young homeowners in the run-up to Christmas.

There were 36,200 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in November, rising 5.8 per cent from the same month in the previous year, according to UK Finance. The £6.0bn of new lending in the month was 9.1 per cent more year-on-year.

"A mixture of competitive deals and schemes including Help to Buy saw even more first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder during November," according to Jackie Bennett, director of Mortgages at UK Finance.

She added: "Meanwhile, homeowner remortgaging activity has steadied, after reaching its highest level in a decade the previous month as a large number of fixed-rate deals came to an end. In the buy-to-let market new home purchases remain subdued, while remortgaging continues to grow as landlords lock into attractive rates."

UK Finance also found that the average first-time buyer is 30 and has a gross household income of £42,000.

However, the news comes on the same day as a Bank of England survey showed that lenders are forecasting the demand for mortgages and credit card lending to fall by the greatest extent in several years.

The Bank’s gauge of demand for mortgage lending over the next three months fell to -17.5 in the fourth quarter of 2018, dropping from 0.2 in the third quarter and marking its lowest level since the end of 2010.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) also showed today that forecasts for growth in the capital's housing market have hit their lowest levels in two decades.

Read more: London housing market faces negative outlook for start of 2019, warn surveyors

As uncertainty bites among both buyers and sellers, surveyors are predicting in record numbers that activity in the capital will remain negative over the next three months, according to a poll out today from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

In the poorest reading since the survey began in 1999, some 41 per cent more respondents have predicted that property sales will continue to fall, rather than rise, in the near term.