Signs emerge of property market recovery as mortgage completions rise

Mortgage completions for first-time buyers, home movers and landlords ended last year on the rise.

Data from trade body UK Finance shows there were 29,490 first-time buyer mortgages completed in December, up 0.3% annually, while the number of home mover loans increased 3.2% to 29,400 compared with a year before.

There were 5,700 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in December 2019, up 3.6% annually.

Commenting on the figures, Sam Harhat, head of financial services at Andrews Property Group, said: “This latest data shows that chaos can often be a catalyst for action.

“While the closing stages of 2019 were among the most volatile for decades politically, many people decided to cut their losses and move home before any further potential upheaval.

“There’s a sense that first-time buyers were particularly wary that if our departure from the EU didn’t bring the roof in, they could soon be left behind.

“Fears of Brexit ultimately proving benign and the market rebounding caused many first-time buyers to make their move in 2019.

“What’s also encouraging is that buy-to-let completions were also up on the previous year. The buy-to-let market appears to have stabilised and is showing it has got fight left in it yet.

“Since the second half of January, the new climate of political certainty has unleashed a lot of pent-up demand.

“Mortgage approvals look set to continue to pick up during the Spring, with the aspirational buyers that have been missing for so long taking up the slack.”

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One Comment

  1. brokerofexcellence

    Hidden behind the veil of these ultimately positive messages, is the clear reduction in stock levels. If FTB’s and investors make up just over 35,000 completions, but home movers only hit 29,400, where is the next lot of stock coming from for the next raft of FTB’s and investors? There’s a clear 5,500 home deficit.

    More needs to be done to incentivise home movers, to feed the growing demand from first time entrants to the market. Maybe instead of taxing the hell out of the investor and giving massive incentive to FTB’s, it could be given to coerce sellers in to the market? I’ve often said that sellers could have their agency fees paid by the government or a similar level of stamp duty relief as FTB’s. That would properly get the market going, and turn all of those “would like to move” vendors in to “must move” vendors.

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