First-time home buyer borrowing has increased by a fifth at the start of this year, a new report has stated. The latest numbers from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) indicates that the number of people obtaining keys to their first home is rising.
First-time sales grew to 19% in the first quarter of 2017, based on the same period the previous year.
Derek Wilson, CML Northern Ireland chairman, said the demographic continues to be a “key driver” to the market, with first-time buyers making up for nearly two-thirds of property borrowing this quarter.
Managing partner at Templeton Robinson, Keith Mitchell, said property demand continues to outstrip supply.
“While the first quarter of the year is acknowledged as one of the more quiet periods in the property market, the continued year-on-year growth represents a solid performance for transactions in Northern Ireland, and is in line with what we’re experiencing across all five regional Templeton Robinson branches,” he said.
“This is reflected in the steady growth we’re seeing, compared to activity at the height of the market a decade ago. However, as we enter one of the busiest times for the property market here, we expect the number of transactions to increase and look forward to continued positivity across both the first-time buyer market, as well as home movers.”
In the opening three months of the year, first-time buyers borrowed a combined £190m – a decrease of 14% on the fourth quarter of 2016, but an increase of 19% on the first quarter last year.
Likewise, the number of loans given to first time buyers was down 9% on the last quarter, but up 18% on the year before.
Across the collective market, mortgages amounted to a combined £350m, an increase of 3% compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Head of mortgage intermediary business at Danske Bank, Niall Harkin, said that further growth was expected.
“The first-time buyer and remortgage markets continue to demonstrate strong and sustained growth. Rates and deals in the remortgage market are very competitive as we are still in a very low interest rate environment, so clearly people see this as a good time to remortgage,” he said.
“The ongoing low interest environment continues to support competitive mortgage rates, and while rising inflation will put some pressure on household incomes, we expect continued strong mortgage demand, with the possibility of an interest rate rise due to higher inflation perhaps driving more people to look for a good deal in the near term.”