Scotland business

First-time buyer loans at five-year high, says CML

Generic couple looking at estate agent window
Image caption Lenders said there had been positive growth in loans to both first-time buyers and home movers

The number of loans taken out by first-time buyers in Scotland has reached its highest level for five years, according to lenders.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders said first-time buyers took out 6,500 loans in the second quarter of 2013 - up 33% on the same period last year.

It was the largest total in a single quarter since mid-2008.

A total of £630m was advanced over the three months - up 40% on the same period in 2012.

With comparatively lower property prices than in the UK as a whole, first-time buyers in Scotland continued to borrow less relative to income than in the UK as a whole.

North of the border they typically borrowed 2.91 times their income - up from 2.81 in the first quarter of the year but well down on the 3.3 times borrowed on average in the UK.

The loan-to-value ratio increased slightly in Scotland for first-time buyers to 82% of the property value.

Lending to home movers also increased in the second quarter, with 8,100 loans advanced - an increase of 47% on the first quarter.

Overall lending for house purchases in Scotland increased in the second quarter.

A total of 14,500 loans were advanced, a rise of 45% on the previous three months.

The value of these loans also increased, with lending for house purchases worth £1.74bn in the second quarter, up in value by 55% on the previous quarter.

Following a similar pattern to trends in the UK overall, Scotland saw remortgage lending to borrowers pick up in the second quarter of 2013 after a subdued period.

In total, £770m was advanced to borrowers remortgaging in Scotland, which was up by 35% compared to the previous three months and a slight increase on the £750m advanced in the second quarter of 2012.

CML Scotland chairman Iain Malloch said: "The positive growth in lending to both first-time buyers and home movers has led to a welcome increase in lending for house purchases in Scotland.

"With comparatively lower prices in Scotland than in the UK as a whole, first-time buyers are able to borrow less relative to income.

"There is clearly value in the Scottish market which provides a great opportunity to get on the housing ladder."

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