From 1st July the Council of Mortgage Lenders is integrated into a new trade association, UK Finance. For the time being, all UKF mortgage information will continue to be published on this website, and UKF member-only mortgage information will only be available here.

UK Finance represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation takes on most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association. Please go to for wider content and updates from UK Finance.

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  4. Home-owner house purchase lending up 21% year-on-year in February

Home-owner house purchase lending up 21% year-on-year in February

Published: 13 April 2016

On an unadjusted basis, lending in February:

  • Home-owners borrowed £8.7bn for house purchase, up 4% month-on-month and 21% year-on-year. They took out 48,000 loans, up 4% on January and 12% on February 2015.
  • First-time buyers borrowed £3.4bn, up 3% on January and 21% on February last year. This totalled 22,000 loans, up 3% month-on-month and 11% year-on-year. 
  • Home movers borrowed £5.3bn, up 4% on January and up 20% compared to a year ago. This totalled 26,000 loans, up 4% month-on-month and up 14% on February 2015.
  • Remortgage activity totalled £4.8bn, down 17% on January but up 37% compared to a year ago. This came to 28,400 loans, down 15% month-on-month but up 24% compared to a year ago.
  • Landlords borrowed £3.7bn in February, unchanged month-on-month but up 61% year-on-year. This came to 23,700 loans in total, up 1% compared to January and up 47% compared to February 2015.

Last month, the CML introduced publication of seasonally adjusted monthly data (click here to download table), alongside the normal unadjusted data. This makes it easier to spot underlying trends.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented:

In 2016, there have been substantial increases in house purchase and remortgage activity year-on-year. This reflects the sluggish market in early 2015, perhaps driven by election uncertainties. Buy-to-let has also seen substantial year-on-year increases, with particularly strong growth in remortgaging, a pattern which we have seen in the buy-to-let sector the past six months. Activity has been boosted by landlords seeking to complete purchases before tax changes in April. We do not expect activity to show such strong year-on-year growth later in the year.

Home-owner house purchase lending

This is the most amount borrowed in the month of February for house purchase since February 2007. There is traditionally lower activity in the winter months compared to other seasons and first-time buyers and home movers saw little change in February compared to January, but compared to the same month last year both grew substantially by volume and by value. 

Affordability metrics for first-time buyers have remained relatively unchanged month-on-month, however, the amount borrowers are spending of their monthly gross income to service capital and interest repayments was 18.1%, which was the lowest level since we began tracking this metric in 2005. Home movers are also paying at close to record low proportions of income at 18.1%, down from 18.3% in February 2015 and 23.8% in the recent peak of December 2007.

Remortgage lending to home-owners saw a decline compared to the previous month but had significant gains compared to February last year. This is the most amount borrowed for remortgage in the month of February since February 2009. 

Chart 1: Number of loans to home-owners, 2007-2016

20160408 MLT February 2016 chart 1 loans to home owners

Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey       

Buy-to-let lending

While gross buy-to-let lending increased month-on-month and substantially year-on-year, the monthly lending levels have remained relatively consistent the past six months. Remortgage remains the driver of increased activity recently in the buy-to-let sector, with 59% of gross buy-to-let lending being remortgage compared to just 27% in the home-owner space.

Chart 2: Number of loans for buy-to-let, 2007-2016

20160408 MLT February 2016 chart 2 buy-to-let

Source: CML Economics (pre-2013 data based on quarterly data)

Table 1: Number of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase






Home owners


February 2015






January 2016






February 2016


        26,000                10,300                     28,400                13,100

1 month change






12 month change






Table 2: Value of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase (£m)

Remortgage (£m)





Home owners


February 2015






January 2016           3,300           5,100                  1,400                      5,800                  2,300

February 2016

          3,400           5,300




1 month change






12 month change






20160413 Feb 2016 MLT First-time buyers affordability infographic

20160413 Feb MLT home movers affordability infographic v2

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 11.1 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.3 trillion.

2. Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey for all home-owner mortgage data.

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. The March 2016 data will be released on Tuesday 17 May 2016.

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Gareth Hill

020 7438 8922

Sue Anderson

020 7438 8924

Bernard Clarke

020 7438 8923