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Home buyers set for another roller coaster year in the mortgage market


Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The mortgage market picked up again in January 2019 but borrowers are set for a “rollercoaster year”, say surveyors.

Data from e.surv estimates that there were 66,350 mortgages approved last month, up 4% on December but down 1.8% annually.  Small deposit borrowers saw their market share increase from 25.2% to 27.1% while the proportion of larger borrowers dropped from 30.1% to 28.1%.

Yorkshire remained the region most receptive to first-time buyers and others with small deposits, with 36.7% of all loans in the region to this group.  At the other end of the scale, just 17.3% of London borrowers were able to get on the ladder with a small deposit, the lowest of any region recorded in January.  Large deposit borrowers, by contrast, had a much better time of it in the English capital, accounting for 38.5%.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “There are many predictions for the housing and mortgage markets in 2019, ranging from the bullish to the more cautious.  “First-time buyers are becoming the new battleground for mortgage lenders.  “Rates are being cut and, perhaps more importantly, lenders are receptive to applicants that previously may have found accessing finance challenging.  “Data from the first month of 2019 suggests that the trends we saw develop throughout 2018 could remain in place again this year.  “Those looking to buy in London need a large deposit to ensure they can get a mortgage deal, while the markets in northern areas and Northern Ireland are much more tilted towards first-time buyers and those with less cash to spare.  “As 2019 enters full swing it will be interesting to see whether these areas continue to be dominated by small deposit borrowers.”