First time buyers in London borrowing 3.83 times their income

28th May 2014

First-time buyers in Greater London took out 11,900 loans in the first quarter of 2014, a decrease of 11% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013 but up 29% compared to the same period in 2013.

These loans totalled £2.7bn in value, 9% lower than the previous quarter but up 49% compared to the first quarter of 2013 says lenders’ trade body the C0uncil of Mortgage Lenders.

The typical first-time buyer in Greater London borrowed 3.83 times their gross income in the first quarter of 2014, which was higher than the UK average of 3.42. This was an increase from the last quarter of 2013 when it was 3.79 and up from 3.60 in the first quarter of 2013.

The typical loan size for first-time buyers in Greater London was £200,000, which was more than the UK average of £118,750 in the same period.

First time buyers’ typical household income went up slightly to £52,600 from the £52,568 average in Greater London in the fourth quarter of 2013.

First-time buyers spent 20.7% of their gross income on capital and interest payments, higher than the UK average of 19.3%  and slightly higher than the previous quarter in Greater London when it was 20.6, but lower than the 21.0% in the first quarter of 2013.

Chart: Lending to FTBs in London, number of loans advanced, and lending to FTBs in London as a proportion of the UK total (1 year moving average)

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Lending to home movers

Overall for the first quarter of 2014, home movers in Greater London took out 8,900 loans, with a value of £2.8bn. This was 14% fewer, and 11% less by value, than in the fourth quarter of 2013. However, compared with the first quarter of 2013, this was a rise of 13% by volume and 27% by value.

Lending to home owners for remortgage

Home-owner remortgage activity in Greater London in the first quarter of 2014 totalled 10,500 loans, down 6% compared to the previous quarter but an increase of 24% compared to quarter one of 2013. These loans totalled £2.7bn in value, which was down 5% from the previous quarter but up 44% compared to the same quarter in 2013.

Paul Smee, CML director general, says: “The usual seasonal dip in lending has affected London mirroring the rest of the UK but lending year-on-year shows a strong upward trend. First-time buyers continue to be a key driver as an increasing number realise their aspiration of owning a home.

“We are increasingly looking at not one overall UK housing market, but many smaller regional markets with different characteristics, and Greater London has particular challenges. Affordability remains a crucial factor and policymakers need to be aware that any measures they implement may have different effects in different locations.”

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