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First-time buyer lending in Northern Ireland up 29% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013

26 Feb 14

First-time buyer lending in Northern Ireland up 29% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013

The number of loans advanced to first-time buyers in Northern Ireland grew to its highest level since mid-2007 in the fourth quarter of 2013. The data released by the CML today shows there has been an increase in lending to first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagors that has continued the upward trend in Northern Ireland over the last three quarterly periods.

Lending for house purchase

The total number of loans advanced for house purchase in Northern Ireland was 2,900 loans in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 7% compared to the third quarter and up 21% compared to the fourth quarter 2012. These loans were worth £270m, up 13% compared to the third quarter and a year-on-year quarterly increase of 29%.

Overall in 2013, the total number of loans for house purchase in Northern Ireland was 9,900, up 11% compared to 2012. The value of these loans was £880m, up 10% compared to 2012.

First-time buyers

A total of 1,800 loans were advanced to first-time buyers in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was an increase compared to the third quarter of 13% and up 29% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Loans to first-time buyers in Northern Ireland had a total value of £140m up 17% compared to quarter three and up 27% compared to quarter four in 2012.

First-time buyers borrowed, on average, £70,200 in the fourth quarter of 2013, a slight increase from £70,000 compared to the third quarter.

On average, first-time buyers borrowed 2.85 times their income (the same as in the third quarter of 2013) but this still remains much lower than the UK average of 3.36.

The majority of first-time buyers in Northern Ireland, 72% compared to the 40% UK average, bought properties valued at less than £125,000, and therefore would have avoided paying any stamp duty.

Chart 1: Lending to FTBs in Northern Ireland, number of loans advanced, and lending to FTBs as a proportion of the UK total

26.02.2014 Northern Ireland FTB graph

Source: CML regulated mortgage survey

Home movers

The number of loans advanced to home movers in Northern Ireland was 1,100 in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was the same as the third quarter but up 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. The total value of loans to home movers was £130m, an increase of 8% compared to the third quarter and up 30% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Despite the increase in lending, home movers in Northern Ireland still only accounted for 38% of the house purchase market in quarter four 2013 which is lower than the 55% UK average.

Overall in 2013, the total number of loans advanced to home movers in Northern Ireland was 3,900, which was up 3% compared to 2012. The total value of these loans was £430m, up 8% compared to 2012.

Chart 2: House Purchase lending in Northern Ireland: Year-on-year % change in Northern Ireland compared with the UK

26.02.2014 Northern Ireland house purchase graph

Source: CML regulated mortgage survey

Remortgage lending

Remortgage lending picked up in the fourth quarter of 2013 in Northern Ireland with £120m advanced to borrowers, up 9% compared to the third quarter of the year and the fourth quarter 2012. The total number of loans for remortgage in Northern Ireland was 1,300, up 8% compared to both the third quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2012.

Overall in 2013, the total number of loans advanced for remortgage in 2013 was 4,600, which was down 10% compared to 2012. The value of these loans totalled £420m, which again was a decrease of 11%. 

Chart 3: Remortgage lending in Northern Ireland: Year-on-year % change in Northern Ireland compared with the UK

26.02.2014 Northern Ireland remortgage graph

Source: CML regulated mortgage survey

Brian McCormick, chair of the CML in Northern Ireland, commented:

"It is encouraging to see increases in all types of lending in Northern Ireland as economic conditions improve. The market was driven by first-time buyers in the earlier quarters of 2013 so it is welcome to see remortgage and home mover lending levels grow, which allows for a degree of optimism going forward in 2014."

Notes to editors

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.3 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.2 trillion.

2. Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey

3. The Council of Mortgage Lenders does not publish statistics for mortgage approvals. The data in our monthly Regulated Mortgage Survey and gross lending press releases relate to mortgage advances only. A mortgage approval is the firm offer to a customer of a specific amount of credit secured against a particular property. A mortgage advance is the total amount of loan actually provided to the buyer, by the lender. Please see the mortgage statistics timeline on our website for further information.

4. Data for the first quarter of 2014 will be released on Wednesday 28 May 2014

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