The CML today released the Regulated Mortgage Survey data for February 2012. The figures show a large rise in the number of first-time buyers taking out mortgages. First-time buyers took out a total of 14,100 loans, with a value of £1.7 billion. This is a monthly change of 8% in the number of loans, and an increase of 18% compared with February 2011. The value of loans taken out by first-time buyers rose by 6% to January 2012 and is an annual change of 21%.
Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software said:
“An annual increase of more than a fifth in the value of first-time buyer lending looks pretty chunky, but we have to treat the number with caution. Stamp duty played a big role in February and March in boosting the market as first-timers scurried to complete before the end of March. LSL/Acadametrics reports that transactions rose by 32% in March, suggesting that first-timers contributed to a large spike in demand last month. The proof of the pudding will be when we get the numbers for April, which will show us the size of the drop off in demand now that first timers have to find larger deposits to satisfy the taxman. Certainly, the size of the increase in lending is a cause for optimism, but it would be a mistake to get carried away while the size of the impact of stamp duty remains unknown”.
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