London’s Housing Market “Entering Uncharted Waters” Says Finance Exec

The London housing market seems to be shifting away from buying and towards staying put and remortgaging. This is steering the market into ‘uncharted waters’ claims a leading mortgage expert.

With two base rate rises in a year and future changes likely only upwards Londoners seem keen to lock into competitive deals while they last.

Stats from trade body UK Finance show there were 15,200 new homeowner remortgages in London in the second quarter of 2018, 16.9% up over the second quarter in 2017. The £4.84bn of remortgaging in the second quarter was 23.2% more year on year.

In contrast there were 6,800 new homemover mortgages in the second quarter of 2018, 8.1% down over the same quarter of 2017. The £2.77bn of new lending was down 8.6% year on year.

There were 10,300 new first time buyer mortgages completed in London in the second quarter of 2018, 3.7% down on the same quarter of 2017. The £3.04bn of new lending was 1.9% down year on year.

Shaun Church, director of independent mortgage broker Private Finance, comments: “After decades of boom, the lack of homebuyer activity and month on month decline of house prices in London marks uncharted waters for the capital’s property market.

“Even first time buyer activity, which has performed encouragingly

throughout 2018, has now declined.

“This suggests that despite easing house price growth, stamp duty exemptions and Help to Buy, affordability remains out of reach for London’s Generation Rent.

“This may translate to greater activity in the commuter belt as would-be buyers seek more affordable properties within reaching distance of the capital.”

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