Northern Ireland First Time Buyer Lending Up

Posted: 26/2/2016


New data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders released today reveals lending in Northern Ireland for house purchase and remortgage increased in the fourth quarter 2015, both on the third quarter and compared to the same period the previous year.

Lending in the fourth quarter 2015:

  • Home-owner house purchase activity increased to 3,700 loans - up 6% on the third quarter and 3% on the fourth quarter in 2014. These loans were worth £380m, up 3% quarter-on-quarter and the same period in 2014.
  • First-time buyers took out 2,100, worth £190m, up 5% by volume and 6% by value compared to the third quarter and up 5% by volume and 12% by value compared to the fourth quarter 2014. 
  • Home movers took out 1,600 loans, up 7% quarter-on-quarter and unchanged on the same quarter 2014. These loans were worth £190m, unchanged quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.
  • The number of loans for remortgage totalled 1,800 loans, up 6% on the third quarter and 50% on the same quarter in 2014. These loans were worth £190m, up 12% quarter-on-quarter and 58% year-on-year.    
  • Commenting on the figures Niall Harkin, Head of Mortgage Intermediary Business at Danske Bank, said:

    “This is a very positive survey which confirms the continued growth in activity in the mortgage market which we are seeing in our own business. The level of mortgage activity is very healthy and it is encouraging that both the number of mortgages and the value of those sales were higher in the fourth quarter of 2015 than in the same three months of 2014.

    “While the figures show solid growth in the first time buyer market the biggest news in these figures is the large increase in re-mortgaging activity– people switching mortgages - compared with the same period a year earlier. These trends suggest that people are recognising that the mortgage market is very buoyant with a wide range of competitive products available whether you a first time buyer, a home mover or a mortgage switcher.
    “Rates across the industry are as low as they have been for some time. Economic conditions are also good, with inflation and interest rates remaining at low levels so it is a good time for mortgage borrowers.  At Danske Bank for example, we are currently running one of our best ever cashback incentives and it is proving extremely popular - proof that if you have the right offer the appetite exists amongst consumers to take out a mortgage or to switch from their existing deal.

    “Given the market conditions and that consumer confidence is high it is perhaps surprising that the CML survey showed no growth in the home mover mortgage segment in Q4. However Spring has historically been the time people tend to move house and with indications from the Bank of England that interest rates will remain at record lows for some time to come, this could change in 2016.”

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