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London bucks first quarter borrowing trend: CML

London bucks first quarter borrowing trend: CML

Home buyers in London borrowed £7.1bn for house purchase in the first quarter, up 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter and by 41 per cent on a year ago, although the regional picture was more mixed.

Council of Mortgage Lenders statistics showed Londoners took out 21,400 loans, down 2 per cent on the fourth quarter, but up 20 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

First-time buyers borrowed £2.9bn, down 7 per cent on the previous quarter, but up 19 per cent on the first quarter last year.

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Home movers borrowed £4.2bn, up 18 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 63 per cent compared to a year ago.

Remortgage activity totalled £4bn, up 4 per cent on the fourth quarter and 36 per cent compared to a year ago.

CML director general Paul Smee said the seasonal first quarter dip in lending did not seem to impact London as strongly as the UK overall, mainly due to a strong uptick in home mover activity.

“The housing market in Greater London has some unique characteristics compared to the rest of the UK - more first-time buyers, but lower overall levels of home-ownership,” he stated, adding affordability and housing supply still remain critical factors in the capital.

The CML also published data for the various countries that make up the UK, with Scotland seeing a particularly turbulent first quarter.

Home-owners north of the border borrowed £1.8bn for house purchase, down 22 per cent quarter-on-quarter, but up 1 per cent year-on-year.

First-time buyers borrowed £660m, down 24 per cent on the fourth quarter, but up 10 per cent on the first quarter last year.

Home movers borrowed £1.1bn, down 21 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 4 per cent compared to a year ago.

Remortgage activity totalled £780m, a fall of 1 per cent on the fourth quarter, but up 13 per cent compared to a year ago.

In Wales, home-owners borrowed £850m for house purchase, down 16 per cent quarter-on-quarter, but up 29 per cent year-on-year.

First-time buyers borrowed £330m, falling 20 per cent on the fourth quarter, but up 22 per cent on the same period last year.

Home movers borrowed £530m, down 12 per cent on the previous three months, but up 36 per cent compared to a year ago.

Remortgage activity totalled £420m, down 2 per cent on quarter four, but up 20 per cent on a year ago.

In Northern Ireland, home-owners borrowed £340m for house purchase, down 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter, but up 26 per cent year-on-year.

First-time buyers borrowed £160m, a drop of 16 per cent on the fourth quarter, but an increase of 14 per cent on the first quarter last year. Home movers borrowed £180m, down 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, but up 29 per cent compared to a year ago.

Remortgage activity totalled £170m, down 11 per cent on the fourth quarter, but up 6 per cent compared to a year ago.