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Surge in first-time buyers pushes home buyer lending up to £420 million

A rise in first-time buyers in Northern Ireland has contributed to a significant increase in home buyer lending
Gareth McKeown

HOME buyer lending in Northern Ireland rose to £420 million between April and June this year, an increase of a quarter on the same period last year, according to new figures.

Research from Trade association UK Finance has revealed that 3,800 loans were taken out for house purchases in the second quarter of this year, a 15 per cent rise on the previous three months and on the year.

Home buyers borrowed £420 million between April and June, a 17per cent increase on the first quarter of the year and a 24 per cent rise on the 2016 figure.

The latest analysis further shows a jump in the number of first-time buyers entering the market. First-time buyers accounted for over half (55 per cent) of total buyer lending last quarter with £230 million - a 15 per cent rise from the start of 2017 and up 21 per cent on the second quarter last year.

First-time buyers typically borrowed £96,900, significantly less than the UK average (£137,700), but a slight increase on the previous quarterly figure of £95,000.

Home movers borrowed £190 million from April to June , up 19 per cent on the quarter and 27 per cent compared to a year ago. This totalled 1,500 loans, up 25 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 15 per cent on the same period in 2016.

Remortgage activity totalled £210 million, unchanged on the first quarter 2017 and on the same quarter last year. This came to 2,000 loans, down 5 per cent since the start of the year and unchanged compared to a year ago.

The chair of the UK Finance Northern Ireland mortgage committee Derek Wilson said the market is being driven by first-time buyers.

"House purchase lending in Northern Ireland reached its highest second quarter level since 2007. First-time buyers continue to drive that growth, out-borrowing home movers since 2010. Affordability conditions are better than in the UK overall, and are assisted by attractive rates being offered by lenders and a wide range of product choice available in the market.”

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