Home buyer borrowing slides 13% in Northern Ireland

Home buyer borrowing activity in Northern Ireland declined by 13% to £350m in Q1 2017 compared with Q4 2016, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

However, this total represented a 3% increase compared with the same period last year.

First-time buyers borrowed £190m, a 14% reduction on Q4 2016, but up 19% on Q1 2016.

First-time buyer lending volume was down 9% quarter-on-quarter to 2,000 loans, but up 18% year-on-year.

Derek Wilson, Northern Ireland chair of CML, said: “First-time buyers continue to be a key driver in Northern Ireland, accounting for 63% of lending for house purchases this quarter – the highest proportion since 2001 – due in part to affordability being better in Northern Ireland than the UK overall.

“Seasonal factors and a surge in activity ahead of stamp duty reform a year ago make the home mover picture look more subdued, but we expect activity to pick up in the summer months.”

Home mover borrowing in Q1 2017 (£150m) was down 21% on Q4 2016 and declined 17% compared with Q1 2016.

This totalled 1,200 loans, down 20% quarter-on-quarter and 14% compared with Q1 2016.

Remortgage activity remained unchanged from the previous quarter at £200m, but was 18% up compared with Q1 2016.

This resulted in 2,000 loans, up 5% quarter-on-quarter and 25% compared with a year ago.

“After a substantial decline post-recession in Northern Ireland, remortgaging has had a resurgence showing year-on-year growth every quarter for two years running, buoyed by attractive mortgage deals in the market,” Derek added.

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