Mortgage market returns to growth in November

The house purchase market in November experienced a year-on-year increase for only the second time in 2011, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Loans for house purchase totalled 47,000, worth £6.9bn, in November, a 4 per cent rise on the 45,200 advanced in October and a 3 per cent increase on the 45,800 loans advanced the previous November.

Remortgaging also increased. There were 31,200 loans, worth £4bn, up from 29,500, worth £3.7bn, in October and 30,700, worth £3.8bn, the previous November.

First-time buyers took out 17,300 loans, worth £2.1bn, in November, up 4 per cent by volume and 5 per cent by value compared to both October 2011 and November 2010.

The proportion of loans advanced to FTBs has stayed roughly the same since 2005 – between 34 per cent and 40 per cent – and in November, first-time buyers took up 37 per cent of the market, the same as in October.

Fixed rate mortgages increased in popularity to their highest point in more than two years in November, with 65 per cent of all borrowers taking out this type of loan, up from 62 per cent in October.

Repayment mortgages accounted for 98 per cent of first-time buyers, 83 per cent of home movers, up from 82 per cent in October, and 79 per cent of remortgagers, up from 77 per cent.

CML director general Paul Smee says: “A rise in mortgage lending towards the end of 2011 is a welcome indicator for the industry considering confidence has been weak due to fragile economies both at home and in the Eurozone.

“We should expect a further increase in first-time buyer activity over the next few months as they push through their purchases to take advantage of the stamp duty concession before it ends in March.”