Analysing figures released by the Banking and Payments Federation, the article sends a somewhat contradictory message. On the one hand, first time buyer mortgage approval volumes increased 19% this April compared to April of 2016. However, this volume also represents a 8.4% drop from the number of mortgages approved last month in March.
The decrease in the number of first time buyer mortgages this month is not indicative of the generally increasing annual trend, and may be due to the lack of buyer discounts offered in the month of April, when there isn’t many major holidays or events. April is generally the worst time of the year to finance a house (Business Insider).
On a larger scale, the trend in approval volumes for all mortgages follows that of first time buyer mortgages, but to a less exaggerated extent. The number in April represents an increase of 11.7% compared to April of 2016, and a decrease of 11.6% compared to March of this year.
The greater increase in first time buyer mortgages as compared to all mortgages could indicate that more young people are finding good jobs and settling down. The 19% increase could also indicate that many people who have in the past chosen to rent have now made the decision to finance the purchase of their own home.
The overall annual increase in the number of mortgages approved could signify that people are becoming more confident in property values and/or banks are becoming more lenient in lending. Both alternatives however represent an increase confidence in the economy and its recovery.
This representation is further backed up by figures indicating that property purchase has made up the majority of money approved in mortgages and that re-mortgage values have increased by 15.2% since last year.
This post was submitted by Anqi Zhou from the University of Florida.