The number of mortgages taken out by first-time buyers in May rose to the highest level in five and a half years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Some 25,000 loans were advanced to first-time buyers, the highest number since November 2007.
Bien Media client Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, comments: ‘Government attempts to get the banks lending again are clearly working. The improvement in high loan-to-value (LTV) lending in particular has resulted in a surge in number of first-time buyers. While all sectors of the lending market saw an improvement in lending volumes in May, it was first-time buyers who benefited the most.
‘Average deposits have fallen and continue to do so as lenders offer more innovation and better rates at higher LTVs. With the Government expected to supply more detail on the Help to Buy guarantee scheme in the next couple of weeks, we expect the number of first-time buyers to continue to improve.
‘While we are some way from the volumes of lending done at the height of the housing boom, things are certainly moving in the right direction. However, we need confidence to continue to improve in order to persuade more homeowners to trade up and move on, resulting in more stock coming to market.’