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London homeowners remortgaging at highest rate in a decade

Homeowners in London are remortgaging at the highest levels in a decade, according to new finance industry figures.

Meanwhile, first-time buyer mortgages are also on the rise in the capital. UK Finance, the trade body for lenders, revealed that 11,000 new first-time buyer mortgages were completed in London in the last three months of 2018.

That’s up 5.8 percent on the same period a year earlier. Across the year as a whole, 42,800 first-time buyers purchased a property in London, borrowing a total of £12.6 billion.

Borrowing worth £18bn

In the last quarter of 2018, 15,000 homeowners in London remortgaged, either with their current lender or a new lender. That was up 2.7 percent on the same period in 2017 and involved borrowing worth £4.6 billion, up 1.8 percent year on year.

In 2018 as a whole, 60,400 homeowners remortgaged in London, up 6.2 percent on 2017, and borrowing £18.8 billion. This is the highest annual number of remortgages in the capital since 2008.

Locked into competitive deals

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “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.

“First-time buyer numbers increased for the third year running in 2018, despite a sluggish first quarter. However, affordability remains a challenge for many potential buyers in the capital, underlining the importance of schemes such as Help to Buy.”

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