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First-time buyers’ lending down on last year

First-time buyers are struggling to secure a mortgage in comparison to last year, according to recent statistics.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that people wanting to get on the property ladder found it easier in March and April, 2014, compared to the same time this year.

Figures show mover lending volumes went up slightly month-on-month, but there was still a year-on-year decline compared to April last year.

Home-owner remortgage activity declined compared to last year, but buy-to-let continues to grow year-on-year, mainly driven by remortgage activity, although there was month-on-month decline compared to March.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “House purchase lending in April was relatively subdued compared to last year, but similar to activity in March.

“The economy is recovering, with employment up, earnings growing, and competitive mortgage rates, so we expect activity to continue building as the year progresses.

“Buy-to-let is showing stronger growth than home-owner lending, buoyed significantly by remortgaging, which continues to remain more subdued in the home-owner market.”

Gross lending in April was £15.8bn, down from £16.1bn in March and £16.8bn in April last year.

More than £3.3 billion was loaned to first-time buyers, which was down 3% month-on-month, and down 8% year-on-year.

The £4.9 billion loaned to home-movers was also down 8% year-on-year, but had fared better in the month-on-month statistics, where it had remained the same.

Remortgaging was down 2% in both month-on-month and year-on-year.

In the buy-to-rent market, house buying was up 22% year-on-year, but down 8% month-on-month.

However, loans for remortgaging buy-to-rent properties was up a staggering 40% compared to last year, and had remained the same from the previous month.

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