Mortgages  

Advised buy-to-let sales down in December

Advised buy-to-let sales down in December

Intermediary mortgage sales were up 20.3 per cent year-on-year in 2015, according to Equifax Touchstone, with buy-to-let sales growing by 31.6 per cent and residential sales up 17.2 per cent.

This year-on-year growth was much stronger than in 2014, when total sales were up just 16.6 per cent, compared to 2013.

December did however see a slowdown in sales activity with buy-to-let sales dropping by 19.4 per cent compared with November, while residential sales shrank by 23.4 per cent.

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Total sales declined by 22.4 per cent month-on-month.

Sales in every region were down in December.

London dropped roughly in line with the market at 22.8 per cent, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales reported the largest drops at around 30 per cent.

The least impact was felt in the south west, which dropped by 18.4 per cent.

Equifax Touchstone’s data covers 92 per cent of the intermediated lending market and also showed that the average value of a residential mortgage in 2015 was £183,496 - up from £173,212 in 2014 - and £156,646 for buy-to-let - up from £146,564 in 2014.

Iain Hill, relationship manager at Equifax Touchstone, said he believes the market will grow again in 2016, despite uncertain economic conditions.

He said: “With several lenders joining or returning to the market and many products ranges being expanded, it looks like it is going to be a very exciting start to 2016.”

Yesterday (27 January) saw both Nationwide and the British Banking Association release their latest mortgage market data, with the former reporting that house prices increased marginally in January, while the latter found that gross mortgage borrowing by high street banks hit £12.4bn in December, 24 per cent up on a year ago.

peter.walker@ft.com