According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, home buyers in London borrowed £7.1bn for house purchase in the first quarter of 2016, up 6% quarter-on-quarter and 41% on a year ago. They took out 21,400 loans, down 2% on the previous quarter but up 20% compared to the first quarter 2015.
First-time buyers borrowed £2.9bn, down 7% on the fourth quarter 2015 but up 19% on the first quarter last year. This equated 10,700 loans, down 10% quarter-on-quarter but up 3% year-on-year.
Home movers borrowed £4.2bn, up 18% quarter-on-quarter and 63% compared to a year ago. This equated to 10,600 loans, up 8% quarter-on-quarter and 43% on quarter one 2015.
Remortgage activity totalled £4bn, up 4% on the fourth quarter 2015 and 36% compared to a year ago. This came to 13,500 loans, up 2% quarter-on-quarter and 21% compared to a year ago.
“The usual seasonal dip in lending in the first quarter of the year didn’t seem to impact London as strongly as the UK overall, mainly due to a strong uptick in home mover activity. Remortgage lending also performed well resulting in the highest first quarter remortgage levels in the capital since 2009.” said Paul Smee, director general of the CML.
“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. Affordability and the supply of housing remain critical factors for the London market, and we will be pleased to work with the new mayor and his deputy on how to deliver appropriate strategy over his term of office.”