Homes for Scotland ‘encouraged’ by increase in first-time buyer activity

House sale stock 3The number of loans issued to first-time buyers in Scotland has increased by 5%, according to latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

During the fourth quarter of last year, first-time buyers borrowed £910 million, down 3% on the previous quarter but up 5% on same period in 2015.

The number of loans awarded totalled 8,400 loans, which was down 2% quarter-on-quarter but up 5% year-on-year.

Over the entire year, first-time buyers were awarded 31,400 loans and borrowed £3.4 billion, with both figures accounting for a 5% increase on 2015.

image002 (2)There was less positive news for other home buyers in Scotland as the statistics revealed lending in the fourth quarter at £2.2bn was down 0.5% quarter-on-quarter and 3% year-on-year.

The 16,800 loans administered during the period was also down, by 1% compared to the previous quarter and 3% on the fourth quarter 2015.

The £8.3bn borrowed for house purchase across the whole of 2016 was down 3% on the previous year, while the number of loans fell by 2% at 63,500 loans.

Responding to the figures, chief executive of industry body Homes for Scotland, Nicola Barclay, said: “We are encouraged by the figures on lending to FTBs, with the number of loans issued to this crucial group up 5% on the same period last year. However, today’s figures also highlight a decline in activity for other home buyers north of the border, which is concerning given the importance of a healthy housing market which offers flexibility at all rungs of the ladder.

“With latest research from Bank of Scotland highlighting that buying here is 12% cheaper than renting compared with the UK average, it is vital that we continue to see investment in a sustainable Scottish market which benefits all purchasers.”

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