Wednesday 27 February 2019 12:59 pm

Remortgaging in London hits decade high as homeowners capitalise on competitive deals

Remortgaging in London has reached a decade-high and the number of first-time buyers also rose at the end of last year, according to UK Finance data.

The number of new homeowner remortgages in the capital rose to 60,400 in 2018 – a 6.2 per cent increase on 2017 and the highest annual figure since 2008, the finance industry trade body said.

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The £18.8bn of remortgage lending was 8.3 per cent higher than 2017.

First-time buyer mortgages completed in London climbed to 11,000 in the final three months of the year, with £3.1bn of new lending, and also rose over the full year.

“Remortgaging in London reached its highest level in a decade last year, as customers locked into competitive deals and a large number of fixed rate loans came to an end,” UK Finance director of mortgages Jackie Bennett said.

“First-time buyer numbers increased for the third year running in 2018, despite a sluggish first quarter.”

She added: “However, affordability remains a challenge for many potential buyers in the capital, underlining the importance of scheme such as Help to Buy.”

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Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “First-time buyer numbers across the country have risen on the back of cheap mortgage rates and stamp duty exemptions.

“The much-maligned Help to Buy scheme is also playing a large part in helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, while more lenders are offering high loan-to-value deals.”