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The value of mortgages lent to first-time buyers increased slightly amid a fall in approvals across the whole of the market, lenders say. Data from banking trade body UK Finance has revealed there was £5.1bn of new lending to first-time buyers during March, up 2% annually, but representing 1.9% fewer actual mortgages at 31,200.

The value and number of mortgages to home movers also decreased during March, falling 4.7% annually to £6.1bn and down 7.8% to 28,400.

Buy-to-let approvals were also down 19.1% to 5,500 and fell 20% by value on an annual basis to £0.8bn in March.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “There has been relatively flat growth in lending to first-time buyers, reflecting recent Bank of England figures showing a fall in mortgage approvals.

“Meanwhile the buy-to-let market remains subdued, as recent tax and regulatory changes continue to have an impact on demand.”

Commenting on the figures, Mike Scott, property analyst at Yopa, said: “First-time buyers are keeping the housing market going, according to March’s lending figures.

“Overall, the picture is of a gradually slowing market, confirming other figures showing a similar reduction in the volume of house purchases.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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