Mortgages 

New mortgage lending hits highest levels in decade

New mortgage lending hits highest levels in decade

Mortgage lending increased in the second quarter of this year, with new lending commitments reaching their highest levels in a decade, the latest Bank of England figures showed.

In its mortgage lenders and administrators statistics report, the Bank reported an increase of total gross advances to £66.7bn - 6.4 per cent higher than the same quarter last year and 6.9 per cent higher than the previous quarter this year.

With new commitments - loans that lenders have agreed to advance in coming months - reaching their highest level since 2008 at £73.2bn, the first-time buyer demographic saw an increase in its lending to 21.4 per cent of gross advances.

Meanwhile the buy-to-let and remortgage sectors saw their share of the market drop in the second quarter - with landlords now accounting for 13.1 per cent of new lending and borrowers looking to remortgage accounting for 30.8 per cent.

Gemma Harle, managing director of Intrinsic's mortgage network, said the statistics painted an encouraging picture of the health of the mortgage market, showing existing borrowers were able access lower deals.

She said: "Although for this quarter we see a slight drop of two percentage points in the level of remortgaging, if you look at the longer term picture, the industry is seeing more and more people re-mortgaging their homes.

"These figures also do not account for people who are getting better deals with their current lenders, which is making up an increasing proportion of brokers’ business."

Ms Harle said another good indicator was the first-time buyer’s increasing share of the market, which she believed had been bolstered by the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

She added: "This is a very positive step considering the consistent messages of doom and gloom first-time buyers have to contend with- while the scheme has its critics, these positive results could show that it is going some way to help address the problem of generation rent."

In the second quarter the share of new lending in the highest loan-to-income brackets - for loans above four times the value of annual income for a single buyer or three times the annual income for joint buyers - increased overall to 45.1 per cent from 43.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

rachel.addison@ft.com

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