Mortgage lending falls

Mortgage lending falls

Mortgage lending activity fell in the last quarter of 2017 but is still up over the course of the year, according to official figures.

The figures released by the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority showed £69.1bn was advanced in the last three months of 2017 compared to £70.9bn for the quarter before this.

But this compares to £62.8bn in the last quarter of 2016, which was 10 per cent lower than a year later.

The report releasing the figures said: "The Bank base rate rise part way through the quarter has seen an increase in the proportion of lending at just above the base rate. New commitments have also decreased when compared with Q3 2017 but are above the level seen a year earlier.

"The proportion of loans in arrears have continued to decrease, and are at the lowest levels since the series began."

Meanwhile the share of first time buyers increased to 21.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 0.5 per cent increase on the previous quarter.

From the previous quarter there has been a 1.5 percentage point decrease in the proportion of new loans for house purchases from 65.9 per cent to 64.5 per cent, driven by a decrease in home movers.

On the other hand the proportion of lending to borrowers in the form of re-mortgages increased by 1.4 percentage points from 28.3 per cent to 29.7 per cent.

The report said these trends were also reflected in the decrease in the proportion of higher loan-to-value (LTV) loans.

New lending in the two highest brackets, at or above 90 per cent, decreased by 0.5 percentage points from the previous quarter to 3.8 per cent in Q4 2017.

The share of new lending in the highest loan-to-income (LTI) brackets increased overall in Q4 2017 compared to the previous quarter.

New lending in the single income, and at least 4 times loan-to-income category, increased by 0.3 percentage points to 11 per cent while new lending in the joint income, and at least 3 loan-to-income category, increased by 0.2 percentage points to 34 per cent.