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Buy-to-let mortgage activity dips

There was a further increase in mortgage lending for first-time-buyers and home movers in August compared with the previous month and the equivalent period last year. 

This is according to the latest data from UK Finance, which revealed there were 35,010 new first-time buyer mortgages in the month, the highest monthly total since August 2007. 

But while first-time mortgages steadily grow, there were 5,900 new buy-to-let property purchase mortgages in the month, some 3.3% less than in the same month a year earlier. 

There were also 13,800 new buy-to-let remortgages in the month, some 0.7% less than in the corresponding month a year earlier. 

Sam Harhat, head of financial services at Andrews Property Group, said: “Conditions for first-time buyers are near perfect and so it’s no surprise that completions have hit their highest level since before the global financial crisis.

“The mortgage rates available are ultra-competitive, while prices in many areas of the country are now within reach following the cool down in the market.

“The confidence of first-time buyers is also being boosted by a strong employment market. When people feel confident about their jobs, they are more likely to buy.

“In a strange way the uncertainty caused by Brexit has also caused many first time buyers to take that first step onto the ladder.

“If Brexit proves to be more damp squib than end of the world, house prices could rebound quite sharply and once again create affordability issues.”

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