THE AVERAGE age of a home buyer dipped in April, falling as the housing market recovers and signalling that the onset of new mortgage rules is not having a major effect on sales.
Across the UK, the typical home buyer is now 36 years old, according to research released today by Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB). The level is the lowest since September 2010, more than three and a half years ago.
The average buyer in London is older, reflecting the considerably higher price of housing. The average buyer is still 38 in the capital, but only 34 in Wales.
The onset of the mortgage market review (MMR), a new set of rules governing lending tied to property, appears to be having more of an effect on remortgaging.
Applications for remortgage lending declined by 12 per cent between March and April, faster than the seven per cent drop in lending recorded for purchases.
Despite the fall, both are still considerably higher than they were in April last year, up by 29 per cent in the 12 month period.
“It’s a promising sign that confidence appears unshaken among younger borrowers. We have seen the average age of buyers seeking a mortgage slowly falling over the last 12 months, which is a symptom of greater opportunity and movement in the market,” said MAB heading of lending Brian Murphy.
He added: “A degree of slowdown was inevitable in the run-up to MMR, particularly given the exceptionally busy start to 2014.”
Even with the onset of the new regulation, the number of mortgage products available increased by three per cent from March, up to 11,416.
Lending from intermediaries, in particular, is driving up the variety of house lending options.