After slowing slightly in November, the amount lenders borrowed to buyers was up in December, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
First-time buyers borrowed £4.5bn, a 7% increase on November and 18% on December last year. Whilst, elsewhere, home-movers borrowed £6.6bn in December, up 2% on November and 12% compared to December last year.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Borrowers have certainly benefited from very competitive rates, boosting affordability for those meeting lenders’ criteria. With the base rate going nowhere fast, consumers will continue to reap the benefits of low rates for some time.”
Remortgage and buy-to-let activity was down slightly in December, but Brian said this is expected for the time of year: “Low rates and high levels of homeowner equity mean remortgage lending is unlikely to stay subdued for long, with many homeowners in a strong position to access better deals.”