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First-time buyer numbers rise

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The number of first-time buyers hit the highest level in more than a year in August.

There were 35,500 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in the month, 2% more than in the same month a year earlier, according to figures from UK Finance.

In total, homeowner mortgage completions dipped slightly to 38,000 from 38,900, while remortgage activity also fell slightly by 0.3%.

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Whilst increased choice and flexibility continues to give first-time buyers the boost they need, it’s surprising to see that we haven’t seen a surge in remortgage activity following the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates.

“The near record low mortgage rates that we continue to see on the market won’t last forever, and those who haven’t yet moved onto a new fixed deal should consider speaking with a financial adviser.”

New buy-to-let mortgage completions were down 13% year-on-year, with 6,000 reported in August.

However, buy-to-let remortgaging saw relatively strong growth, with 13,800 completions, a 4.5% increase year-on-year.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “[This]… was due in part to the number of two-year fixed deals coming to an end. This suggests that while new purchases in the buy-to-let market continue to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes, many existing landlords remain committed to the market.”

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