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  4. House purchase lending up 5% in November

House purchase lending up 5% in November

Published: 17 January 2017

On an unadjusted basis, in November:

  • Home-owners borrowed £11bn for house purchase, up 5% month-on-month and 2% year-on-year. They took out 60,800 loans, up 5% on October and up 0.2% on November 2015.
  • First-time buyers borrowed £4.7bn, up 4% on October and 9% on November last year. This equated to 30,100 loans, up 5% month-on-month and 8% year-on-year. 
  • Home movers borrowed £6.3bn, up 7% on a month ago but down 5% compared to a year ago. This represented 30,700 loans, up 6% month-on-month but down 6% on November 2015.
  • Remortgage activity totalled £5.8bn, down 5% on October but up 14% compared to a year ago. This came to 34,700 loans, unchanged month-on-month but up 13% compared to a year ago.
  • Landlords borrowed £3.2bn, up 10% month-on-month but down 9% year-on-year. This came to 21,000 loans in total, up 13% compared to October but down 10% compared to November 2015.

The CML now publishes seasonally adjusted monthly data (also available to download at the bottom of the page), alongside the normal unadjusted data. This makes it easier to spot underlying trends.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented:

November lending reflected stable market conditions. Overall, 2016 did not match recent years in terms of house purchase lending growth, but lending remained resilient through regulatory and political change and aspirations for home-ownership remain strong in the UK. Our forecasts for 2017 may be less bullish than a year ago, as economic uncertainty weighs on the market, but we still predict 1.2m transactions and a slight increase in gross lending to £248bn. 

Buy-to-let lending, driven by remortgage activity, saw its strongest monthly lending level since the stamp duty changes on second properties introduced last April. Despite this, we expect buy-to-let lending levels in both 2016 and 2017 to prove lower than their 2015 recent peak as further tax changes take effect.

Home-owner house purchase lending

The proportion of household income used to service capital and interest rates reached another historic low this month for both first-time buyers and home movers at 17.5%.

Affordability metrics for first-time buyers saw the typical loan size increase from £133,400 in October to £134,200 in November. The average household income remained unchanged month-on-month at £40,000. This meant the income multiple went from 3.56 to 3.54.

The average amount borrowed by home movers in the UK decreased to £171,000 in November from £172,000 in October, while the average home mover household income decreased slightly to £54,800 from £54,900. The income multiple for the average home mover went from 3.26 to 3.27. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of loans to first-time buyers increased month-on-month and year-on-year. The volume of home mover loans in November declined both month-on-month and year-on-year on a seasonally adjusted basis. Buy-to-let and remortgage activity remained relatively similar on a seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted basis.

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

20170117 November 2016 MLT chart 1

Source: CML Regulated Mortgage Survey 

Buy-to-let lending in November

Gross buy-to-let lending increased in November to the highest monthly level since the stamp duty changes on second properties introduced in April. Over two thirds of buy-to-let loans were remortgages rather than house purchase.

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

20170117 November 2016 MLT chart 2

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

Table 1: Number of loans for house purchase and remortgage in November


House purchase






Home owners


November 2015


32,800 10,000 30,600


October 2016

28,800 28,900 6,200 34,700


November 2016


30,700 6,700 34,700


1 month change

 +4.5%  +6.2% +8.1% 0.0%


12 month change






Table 2: Value of loans for house purchase and remortgage in November


House purchase (£m)

Remortgage (£m)

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

November 2015

4,300 6,600 1,300 5,100 2,100

October 2016

4,500 5,900 900 6,100 2,000

November 2016

4,700 6,300 900 5,800 2,200

1 month change

+4.4% +6.8% 0.0% -4.9% +10.0%

12 month change

+9.3% -4.5% -30.8% +13.7%


20170117 MLT November 2016 fisrt time buyer infographic

20170113 v2 MLT Nov 2016 Home movers infographic v3


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 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 December 2016 data will be released on Tuesday 14 February 2017.

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Gareth Hill

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