First-time buyers are driving the mortgage market in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the picture is not so positive for movers, lenders say
In London, the number of purchase mortgages for home-movers dwindled in the first three months of this year by one-third compared with the first quarter of last year.
Regional data from the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) for the first quarter of 2017 showed first-time buyers in Scotland borrowed £810m, down 10% on the fourth quarter but up 25% on the first quarter last year.
This totalled 7,600 loans, down 8% quarter-on-quarter but up 23% year-on-year.
However, lending to home movers was down 19% from the previous quarter to £1bn in Scotland and down 6% year-on-year, representing 6,700 loans, down 19% quarter-on-quarter and 8% compared to the same quarter in 2016.
Similarly, in Wales, first-time buyers borrowing was up 15% year-on-year to £380m, although down 19% on the fourth quarter. This totalled 3,400 loans, down 17% quarter-on-quarter but up 13% year-on-year.
Home movers in Wales borrowed £450m, 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.
In Northern Ireland, first-time buyers borrowed £190m, down 14% on the fourth quarter but up 19% on the first quarter last year. This totalled 2,000 loans, down 9% quarter-on-quarter but up 18% year-on-year.
Home movers in Northern Ireland borrowed £150m, down 21% quarter-on-quarter and 17% compared to a year ago. This totalled 1,200 loans, down 20% quarter-on-quarter and 14% compared to the same quarter in 2015.
There was a more negative lending environment in London, with first-time buyer borrowing falling 5% on the fourth quarter and 3% year-on-year to £2.8bn. This equated to 10,000 loans, down 5% quarter-on-quarter and 3% year-on-year.
Home movers in the capital borrowed £2.7bn, unchanged quarter-on-quarter and down 35% compared to a year ago. This equated to 6,800 loans, down 3% quarter-on-quarter and 33% compared to the same quarter in 2016.
The CML said remortgage lending across the board was up as home owners made the most of record low rates.