March home lending dip masks best Q1 since 2007

April 14, 2016Tags: mortgages

March 2016 - Mortgage Monitor

  • Q1 2016 sees a strong start, with an average 71,710 house purchase loans granted – the highest opening quarter since 2007, with borrowers benefitting from healthier lending climate
  • March sees 67,173 house purchase approvals, down 9.1% from February as buy-to-let activity eases
  • First-time buyers fill gap left by slowdown in buy-to-let sector– as proportion of small-deposit lending climbs to 17.1% to total 11,487 loans granted, rising from 15.7% in February

Home lending in 2016 saw its best opening quarter for nine years, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv, the UK’s largest chartered surveyor.

An average 71,710 house purchase loans were granted across the first three months of 2016, the highest opening quarter total since 2007 – which saw 116,898 granted. The first few months of unusually high activity have been powered by a rush from buy-to-let landlords racing to beat April’s stamp duty changes.

However, March saw a monthly dip in lending as some landlords were too late to beat the stamp duty surcharges coming into effect on the 1st April. The month saw 67,173 overall house purchase approvals (seasonally adjusted) – 9.1% lower than the 73,871 seen in February. Despite this, March marked a return to normal activity with all borrowers, including first-time buyers, benefiting from a healthy range of mortgage products.