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London first-time buyer activity up annually

Despite the difficult market conditions lending to first-time buyers in London rose by 1.3% in the year to Q3 2019, UK Finance data shows.

There were 11,510 first-time buyer mortgages completed in the capital over that time.

However, there were 14.8% fewer homeowner remortgages in London.

Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “Lenders are demonstrating a strong appetite to lend to first-time buyers with plenty of high loan-to-value mortgage deals at competitive rates on offer.

“It is surprising that there was a 14.8 per cent drop in homeowner remortgages in the third quarter, however. This may be because property values have continued to dip in some areas so borrowers may not be able to access the same loan-to-value that they need.

“However, we have found that with rates cheaper in the third quarter than in the corresponding quarter last year there has been strong demand from clients seeking to take advantage of these incredibly competitive deals.”

Adrian Moloney, sales director of OneSavings Bank, said: “The rise in first-time buyers in London is a clear sign that serious buyers who are looking to get their foot in the door are making the most of record low mortgage rates and increased wages, allowing them to capitalise on opportunities within the market.

“However, for the trend to continue, a lot will depend on how the political dust settles in the next couple of months.”