Following on from our Housing Market Update – 2019 just over a month ago, a recent report from UK Finance has reported that the total number of First-Time-Buyer mortgages completed during 2018 was 370,000. These First-Time-Buyer mortgages reached a total value of £61.6bn. This represents a 1.9 per cent increase in the number of First Time Buyer mortgages and a 4.9 per cent increase in the value of those mortgages when compared to 2017. It is also the highest number of First Time Buyers entering the mortgage market since 2006, although it is some way off that year’s figure of 402,800.

Over 2018, the number of Buy-to-Let mortgages dropped by 11.5 percent to 66,400 (worth £9bn) when compared to 2017, representing a 15 per cent drop in the value of such mortgages completed during 2018. It is likely that the Higher Rate Stamp Duty Land Tax introduced in 2016, stricter lending criteria, and regulatory changes are to blame for this.

This has enabled First Time Buyers to take advantage of reduced completion for lower cost properties. As First Time Buyers drive the housing market from the bottom up, this has benefited home movers to progress further up the property ladder.

Meanwhile, homeowner re-mortgages totalled 476,900 for 2018, worth £85bn. This was a 10.8 per cent increase on 2017’s number of homeowner re-mortgages and 13 per cent on the value.

There were 169,100 new Buy-to-Let re-mortgages during 2018 worth £27bn; a rise of 11.2 per cent and 11.6 per cent respectively compared to 2017.

It will be interesting to see how the property market performs in 2019 with some commentators warning that Brexit will have a detrimental effect on it and others making the point that irrespective of the UK’s membership of the EU, people will still need or want to move house.

For legal advice on buying your first home, speak to Farleys’ residential property team on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online contact form.