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Mortgages to first time buyers on the increase in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Alex Johnson

c2a2be4cb1b8539764229f6b00d6537b36ef9176 300x214 Mortgages to first time buyers on the increase in Scotland, Wales and Northern IrelandFirst-time buyer mortgage activity was on the rise in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between July and September, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

In Scotland, lenders made 5,100 loans to first-time buyers, the highest number in almost three years, 6% higher than in the previous three months, and 9% up on the same period in 2011. First-time buyers in Scotland typically borrowed 2.83 times their income, lower than the 3.25 in the UK, and reflecting the lower house prices in Scotland. Around 3,200 first-time buyers bought a property under £125,000 in the July-September period.

Iain Malloch, chair of CML Scotland, commented: “The boost in first-time buyers is encouraging but the rest of the market still remains broadly flat. The Funding for Lending scheme is likely to assist with growth going forward and we welcome the MI New Home scheme – enabling people to access higher loan-to-value mortgages on new build properties – but it’s still too early to see any meaningful effects flowing into the market as yet.”

Welsh first-time buyers took out 2,300 mortgages, up 10% on the April-June figures, though unchanged from the same period last year. On average, first-time buyers in Wales continued to put down a smaller deposit than in the UK overall – the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio remained unchanged compared to the rest of 2012 at 85%, compared to the rest of the UK at 80%.

In Northern Ireland, 1,300 buyers bought their first home, up from 1,100 over the previous three months (an 18% increase), though also changed from the same period last year. By value, first-time buyers borrowed £100 million, up from £80 million over the previous three months but down from the £110 million for the same period in 2011.

Remortgaging in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was down over the July-September period, on the preceding three months and on the same period a year earlier.

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