According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders the number of first-time buyers increased by 3% in February, marking the best start to a year since 2008.
Activity in the first-time buyer sector was 17% stronger in February than in February last year, and combined with January reached the largest number of first-time buyers in the first two months of the year since 2008.
Lending to home movers fell – contributing to an overall dip in house purchase lending – while remortgage lending also eased.
First-time buyers accounted for 43% of all house purchase loans in February. This was the sixth consecutive month that this indicator has been at or above 40%. This is good news in that a steady growth in FTB is critical for the long term strength of the housing market but the fall in other home movers and remortgage borrowers is slightly at odds with the headline grabbing fall in some mortgage rates.
Supporting all of those aspiring to buy or move home is behind Saffron Building Society’s decision to maintain a 95% FTB within its mortgage range as standard plus add recently add an equivalent product for all of those looking to move home; the ‘next step’ mortgage.
This first time buyer activity was before the Government’s ‘help to buy’ scheme so lets hope other lenders add to Saffron’s presence in the market.