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First-time buyer growth continued in Wales in first quarter of 2017 but home mover borrowing declined reveals Council of Mortgage Lenders figures

First-time buyer growth continued in Wales in the first quarter of 2017 but home mover borrowing declined according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Home buyers borrowed £840 million for house purchase in the first three months of the year, down 19% quarter-on-quarter and 1% year-on-year. They took out 6,500 loans, down 19% compared to the previous quarter and 2% on the first quarter 2015.


First-time buyers borrowed £380 million, down 19% on the fourth quarter but up 15% on the first quarter last year. This totalled 3,400 loans, down 17% quarter-on-quarter but up 13% year-on-year. 


First-time buyers affordability metrics in Wales remained better in the first quarter than for the UK overall. First-time buyers typically borrowed £106,300 (£133,000 in the UK overall), down from £107,200. The average household income was £33,000 (£40,000 in the UK overall), down from £33,400. The typical income multiple in Wales of 3.32 (from 3.29 the previous quarter) also compared favourably to the UK average of 3.53.


Home movers borrowed £450 million, down 22% quarter-on-quarter and 15% compared to a year ago. This totalled 3,100 loans, down 21% quarter-on-quarter and 16% compared to the same quarter in 2015.


Affordability metrics for home movers saw the typical amount borrowed this quarter was £130,300 (£175,000 in the UK overall), down on £133,700 the previous quarter. The average household income of a home mover was £46,500 (£54,600 in the UK overall), down from £47,000. This meant the typical home mover income multiple in Wales was 2.91, compared to 2.95 the previous quarter and the UK average of 3.34.


Remortgage activity totalled £510 milliom, up 9% on the fourth quarter and 21% on the same quarter last year. This came to 4,500 loans, up 10% quarter-on-quarter and 18% compared to a year ago.


“The traditional seasonal dip in the winter months and last year’s surge of home mover activity ahead of stamp duty changes distorts the lending picture slightly,” said Julie Ann Haines, CML Cymru chair. “Still, first-time buyers continue to be a key driver in Wales with the largest activity in the first quarter of the year since 2007, and remortgage activity is at a five-year quarterly height. The mix of government scheme support and low mortgage rates appear to be fuelling this growth and we'd expect this momentum to continue into the summer months.”


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