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  4. Home buyers up 18% in Northern Ireland in third quarter

Home buyers up 18% in Northern Ireland in third quarter

Published: 23 November 2016

In the third quarter:

  • Home buyers borrowed £400m for house purchase, up 18% quarter-on-quarter and 8% year-on-year. They took out 3,600 loans, up 9% compared to the previous quarter and 3% on the third quarter 2015.
  • First-time buyers borrowed £210m, up 11% on the second quarter and 17% on the third quarter last year. This totalled 2,100 loans, up 5% quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. 
  • Home movers borrowed £190m, up 27% quarter-on-quarter and unchanged compared to a year ago. This totalled 1,500 loans, up 15% quarter-on-quarter but unchanged compared to the same quarter in 2015.
  • Remortgage activity totalled £190m, down 10% on the second quarter and up 12% on the same quarter last year. This came to 1,900 loans, down 5% quarter-on-quarter but up 12% compared to a year ago.

Derek Wilson, CML Northern Ireland chair, commented:

This is the first period after the EU referendum vote and it appears the Northern Irish market has remained resilient. We have seen year-on-year growth in home buying activity in Northern Ireland every quarter this year, with first-time buyers really driving that growth. Home mover and remortgage lending levels have stayed relatively consistent the past few quarters too, and affordability continues to be much better than in the UK overall, so we should expect this to continue as we approach the new year.

Affordability in Northern Ireland remains positive

First-time buyers affordability metrics in Northern Ireland remained better in the third quarter than for the UK overall. First-time buyers typically borrowed £93,000 (£134,900 in the UK overall), up from £91,900. The average household income was £32,100 (£40,500 in the UK overall), up from £31,600. The typical income multiple in Northern Ireland of 2.86 (compared to 2.89 the previous quarter) also compared favourably to the UK average of 3.54.

Affordability metrics for home movers saw the typical amount borrowed this quarter was £112,500 (£172,800 in the UK overall), up from £110,000 the previous quarter. The average household income of a home mover was £46,800 (£55,200 in the UK overall), up from £44,300. This meant the typical home mover income multiple in Northern Ireland was 2.53, compared to 2.50 the previous quarter and the UK average of 3.27.

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

20161123 Northern Ireland Q3 2016 chart one

Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey  

Download data

Table 1: Number of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase





Home owners

Q3 2015




Q2 2016




Q3 2016




Change compared to Q2 2016




Change compared to Q3 2015




Table 2: Value of loans for house purchase and remortgage


House purchase (£m)

Remortgage (£m)

  FTBs Movers Home owners

Q3 2015

180 190 170

Q2 2016

190 150 210

Q3 2016

210 190 190

Change compared to Q2 2016

+10.5% +26.7% -9.5%

Change compared to Q3 2015

+16.7% 0.0% +11.8%

20161123 Northern Ireland FTBs INFOGRAPHIC

20161123 Northern Ireland HOME MOVERS INFOGRAPHIC

Notes to editors

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 97% 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

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 fourth quarter of 2016 will be released on Wednesday 22 February 2017.

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020 7438 8924

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