Home movers in London the lowest in number since 1991, say mortgage lenders

The number of mortgaged home movers in London last year was the lowest in 16 years, lenders said yesterday, while the number of all home buyers taking out mortgages in London fell to a four-year low.

Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that home buyers in the capital borrowed £24.5bn for house purchase, down 0.4% on 2015, amounting to 75,800 loans, which was down 7% year-on-year.

The value of loans to first-time buyers in London fell 3% in 2016 to £11.9bn, and approvals fell 5% to 43,300.

Home movers borrowed £12.5bn, totalling 32,400 loans, down 3% by value and 10% by volume on 2015.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “The number of home buyers in London fell to a four-year low in 2016.

“Home mover activity in particular continues a downward trend, with the fewest loans since 1991. Persisting supply and affordability issues appear to be exerting an ongoing restraint on growth, meaning there is some uncertainty around how the market will perform going into 2017.”

In contrast, CML Scotland reported home buyers borrowed £8.3bn for house purchase, down 3% on 2015, but up 2% in terms of approvals at 63,500 loans.

First-time buyers borrowed £3.4bn in Scotland during 2016, up 5% on the previous year. This totalled 31,400 loans, up 5% year-on-year.

Home movers in Scotland borrowed £4.9bn, totalling 32,100 loans, down 7% by value and 8% by volume on 2015.

Northern Ireland lenders said home buyers borrowed £1.5bn for house purchase, up 11% on 2015. They took out 13,800 loans, up 5% compared to the year before.

First-time buyers borrowed £780m, up 18% on the previous year, totalling 8,000 loans, up 7% on 2015.

Home movers borrowed £710m, totalling 5,800 loans, up 4% by value and 2% by volume on 2015.

In Wales, home buyers borrowed £3.9bn for house purchase, up 11% on 2015. They took out 29,700 loans, up 7% compared to the year before.

First-time buyers borrowed £1.7bn, up 17% on the previous year. This totalled 14,700 loans, up 11% on 2015.

Home movers borrowed £2.2bn, totalling 14,900 loans, up 7% by value and 2% by volume year-on-year.

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