Mortgage lending fell in four areas from March to April 2017 as the market paused for breath before the General Election, Council of Mortgage Lenders figures show.
Between the two months by value lending was down 14% for homebuyers, 16% for first-time buyers, 11% for homemovers, 16% for remortgagors and 17% for buy-to-let.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “These figures are interesting because they are showing what was happening in the lead up to the election, continuing the trend of remortgaging and first-time buyers outperforming existing home movers and the buy-to-let market, with the latter still reeling from various legislative and financial blows.”
Year-on-year comparisons showed a mixed picture, with homebuyer and homemover lending rising by 19% from April 2016 – though this was helped by the slowdown after the 3% stamp duty surcharge was introduced in March last year.
Homeowner remortgage activity was down 15% from last year and buy-to-let by 17%.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “April comparisons are distorted by the weakness last year following the stamp duty changes, and the normal seasonal lending surge in March. But the seasonally-adjusted picture shows lending relatively unchanged month-on-month across all lending segments.
“Heading into the summer months, we expect the market to remain slightly lopsided. Buy-to-let and home movers may well remain subdued, as they have been for the last six months. But both first-time buyer and remortgage lending should maintain momentum on the coattails of the attractive deals available.”