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January remortgaging hit nine-year high

Written by: Victoria Hartley
Remortgaging leapt 20% at the start of the year to hit a nine-year high while the number of first-time buyers and home movers both increased over the same period.

There were 49,800 residential remortgages worth £8.9bn completed in January, the highest number since November 2008, according to UK Finance figures.

First-time buyer mortgage numbers also rose, this time up 7% on an annual basis to 24,500 home loans for novice buyers worth £4bn. This is an increase of 11% year-on-year.

The average first-time buyer age is now 30 with a gross household income of £41,000.

On buy-to-let, 5,600 purchase mortgages completed in January, a drop in completions of 5.1% on an annual basis but worth £0.8bn. However, lenders reported 16,500 buy-to-let remortgages, almost 18% higher than the previous year and almost £2.6bn of monthly lending.

Moving home

In January, 25,000 mortgages for home movers completed, worth just over 10% more than a year ago at £5.4bn. The average home mover is 39 with an average household income of £55,000.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “While an increase in remortgaging is expected in the New Year as people put their household finances in order, this strong growth is above the seasonal fluctuations we tend to see at this time of year.

“However, growth in the buy-to-let market remains subdued, reflecting the ongoing impact of recent tax and regulatory changes.”

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau, said the data all points to a solid start for the UK property market this year, and buy-to-let remortgaging in particular.

“What this may suggest is that those investors who have decided to stay in the market have taken time to re-trench and garner the appropriate tax advice and are now taking advantage of stock which is becoming available where other landlords are deciding to exit.”

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