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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May house purchase lending 8% up on a year ago

Published: 13 July 2016

On an unadjusted basis, in May:

  • Home-owners borrowed £9.4bn for house purchase, up 15% month-on-month and 8% year-on-year. They took out 53,800 loans, up 13% on April and 5% on May 2015.
  • First-time buyers borrowed £4.3bn, up 10% on April and 23% on May last year. This equated to 27,500 loans, up 9% month-on-month and 16% year-on-year. 
  • Home movers borrowed £5.1bn, up 19% on April but down 2% compared to a year ago. This represented 26,300 loans, up 18% month-on-month but down 5% on May 2015.
  • Remortgage activity totalled £5.2bn, down 15% on April but up 30% compared to a year ago. This came to 30,900 loans, down 12% month-on-month but up 25% compared to a year ago.
  • Landlords borrowed £2.6bn, up 4% month-on-month but down 4% year-on-year. This came to 16,600 loans in total, up 3% compared to April but down 8% compared to May 2015.

The CML now publishes seasonally adjusted monthly and quarterly data (click here to download the table), alongside the normal unadjusted data. This makes it easier to spot underlying trends.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented:

There was a sense of the market regaining some equilibrium in May, following the stamp duty driven spike in March and the subsequent dip in April. For the second month running, first-time buyers borrowed more than home movers, the first time in 20 years that this has been the case. Buy-to-let continues at lower levels as expected, after the change to stamp duty.

Brexit, and its likely effect on the market, is a question to which the answer will not immediately be forthcoming. Lenders will continue to be open for business as usual, but lending volumes may be affected by uncertain consumer sentiment.

Home-owner house purchase lending in May

Affordability metrics for first-time buyers have remained relatively stable. The typical loan size increased to £131,000 from £130,000 in April, while the household income of borrowers also increasing slightly from £39,700 in April to £40,000 in May, which meant the income multiple went up from 3.46 to 3.51.

Home movers showed a similar trend with the average amount borrowed increasing to £166,000 from £163,000 in April, and the average household income of a home mover also increasing to £53,300 from £52,500. This meant the income multiple went down from 3.26 to 3.25 month-on-month.

Remortgage lending saw a month-on-month decrease in May but a year-on-year increase by both volume and value, reaching levels similar to those in the first three months of the year.

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

 20160713 MLT May 2016 press release Chart one

Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey       

Buy-to-let lending in May

Gross buy-to-let lending continues to be lower than usual as expected after the surge in activity to beat the stamp duty changes on second properties ahead of the April 1 deadline. Buy-to-let house purchase lending is under half what it was in the months leading up to the stamp duty changes, whereas buy-to-let remortgage is by value 10% lower than levels seen in January and February before the surge in activity in March. 

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

 20160713 MLT May 2016 press release Chart two

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

Table 1: Number of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase






Home owners


May 2015






April 2016






May 2016






1 month change






12 month change






Table 2: Value of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase (£m)

Remortgage (£m)

  FTBs Movers Buy-to-let Home owners Buy-to-let

May 2015

3,500 5,200 1,200 4,000 1,500

April 2016

3,900 4,300 600 6,100 1,900

May 2016

4,300 5,100 600 5,200 1,900

1 month change

+10.3% +18.6% 0.0% -14.8% 0.0%

12 month change

+22.9% -1.9% -50.0% +30.0%



20160713 MLT May 2016 FTB affordability infographic

20160713 MLT May 2016 home movers affordability infographic

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 June 2016 data will be released on Wednesday 10 August 2016.

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