UK mortgage market picks up pace in summer as August proves strong

by Gary Whittaker

Summer is not traditionally one of the best times of the year for the UK property market in terms of purchases, but mortgage activity for summer 2017 seems to suggest this year was different. 

According to new data released by UK Finance, August was a month of real gains in terms of mortgage lending, as more buyers sought out house purchase loans. In fact, it said that August was the highest month for lending recorded since March 2016. 

Home movers were the strongest drivers of the market in August, with those going from one property to another having borrowed £8.4 billion during the month. This marked a rise of 18 per cent when compared to July, as well as a 20 per cent increase on August last year. 

First-time buyers experienced similar growth throughout August. According to the data, this demographic borrowed as much as £5.7 billion in mortgages in August, which represented an increase of 16 per cent when compared to July, and growth of 12 per cent over the same month a year ago. 

"Activity picked up in August, and recent resilience ensured that borrowing by home movers was at its highest since March 2016, when transactions were boosted by an imminent increase in stamp duty," said UK Finance’s head of mortgages policy June Deasy.

"Over the last 12 months, the number of people remortgaging has been higher than in any period since late 2009. With mortgage rates close to historic lows and the likelihood of a rise in official rates moving closer, the popularity of remortgaging looks set to continue," she added. 

The report also shows that there was a fall in buy-to-let lending in August month on month. However, even though it fell, the £3.1 billion borrowed by landlords still indicates strong activity across the market as a whole. 

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12-October-17General Lettings News