First-time buyers and remortgage activity driving north's housing market

First-time buyers continue to drive the north's housing market, according to new lending figures
Gareth McKeown

FIRST-time buyers continue to drive the housing market in the north, according to new mortgage lending figures.

The latest data from UK Finance shows a 11.4 per cent increase in new first-time buyer mortgages compared to the start of last year, with 2,440 completed in the first three months of this year. First time buyers in Northern Ireland typically borrowed just over three times their income, representing an average loan £105,129.

A total 2,820 new homeowner remortgages were completed at the first three months of the year, almost a quarter (24.8 per cent) more than the corresponding period in 2018 and the highest in a decade (Q1 2009 - 3,280).

Meanwhile there were 1,490 new homemover mortgages completed in Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2019, a slight fall compared to the same period a year ago.

Danske Bank head of mortgages, Patrick Mullan said the latest figures show the housing market in the north continues to grow, aided by first-time buyers and remortgaging.

"Interestingly, the number of households remortgaging reached their highest levels in a decade, with a 25 per cent uplift in the number of remortgages. We believe this has been driven by greater competitiveness between lenders providing customers with more choice, awareness of available mortgage options, and people moving off fixed rate deals and generally choosing to re-fix their mortgage for another period of time."

“Overall we anticipate continued healthy growth in the mortgage market, driven by Northern Ireland's position as the most affordable region in the UK for housing and a welcome increase in the supply of new housing," he added.

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