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North of England's Mortgage Market Defying National Declines

Almost 85,000 first-time buyers in the North bought their first home in the region last year

Number of households buying for the first time in the North up 3% year-on-year

The North of England experienced its highest number of first-time buyers last year in over a decade, new research by UK Finance reveals.


According to the research, the region’s mortgage market approved 84,900 mortgages for first-time buyer households in 2018, 3% more than in 2017 and the North’s largest number since 2006.


The North also had the highest growth in first-time buyers across England, second only to the Midlands.


Overall, brokers and lenders provided more than £23 billion in lending for mortgages in the North, helping 180,000 home purchases in the region, some 1% more than 2017.


According to UK Finance, the strength of the region’s mortgage market is owed to its better affordability, alongside lower average deposits and income multiples compared to the rest of England.


There were also 80,4000 home movers in the region in 2018, 1.1% more than the previous year and the North’s highest sine 2007. By comparison, the UK saw a general decline in home movers in 2018.


Additionally, key cities in the North, such as Newcastle, Liverpool, and Hull recorded annual growths in buy-to-let mortgage lending, compared to a national decline, fuelled by lower house prices, a healthy labour market, and strong rental demand.


“These figures show the North of England has a strong and dynamic mortgage market, with lenders helping thousands of first-time buyers onto the housing ladder,” said Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance.


“Meanwhile, attractive rental yields in many Northern cities have driven growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend.”


According to Savills, operational residential real estate in the UK, which includes the build-to-rent sector, is expected to be valued at £880 billion once it reaches full maturity.

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