Bank of England figures show rise in lending
Latest Bank of England figures show that mortgage lending reached £36.4billion in the last quarter of 2014, up 3.7 per cent on the previous 12 months.
The growth has been recorded across the UK, despite house lending figures falling £3.7billion between the third and fourth quarters of last year.
The Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics have been announced at a time when mortgage rates are at historic lows, having almost halved in the last two years.
Rates are now low across the board, whether you have a large or small deposit, as lenders battle for business in a bid to build their market share.
This has certainly improved opportunities for first time buyers, with the figures showing that the proportion of lending to first time buyers increased by 0.1 percentage points to 21.8% in Q4 2014, reflecting further stability in the market.
As well as supporting those looking to get their foot on the property ladder, the lending climate has fuelled further growth in the Buy To Let market, with the proportion of lending increasing from 14.3 per cent in Q3 2014 to 14.9% in Q4 2014. There was an increase in value terms over the past year – from £6.6billion advanced in Q4 2013 to £7.6 billion in Q4 2014.
It is also worth noting that the report from the Bank of England has indicated a small shift in the way that people are choosing to borrow, with the proportion of fixed rate lending falling for the first time in nine quarters from 82.6 per cent in Q3 2014 to 82.2 per cent in Q4 2014.
Looking at the bigger picture, the numbers point to increasing confidence in the UK residential property market.
Of course lending figures fell during the last quarter, however this is a traditionally quieter period for the sector as buyers delay decisions during the festive period.
This trend was reflected in our own figures for Aberdeenshire, which showed a dip in the volume of sales from Q4 2014 compared to Q3.
What is important, however, is that lending has remained on the upward curve from the previous 12 months and I expect this to continue during 2015, as buyers benefit from low-inflation, increased spending power, as well as better borrowing rates and choice from High Street lenders.