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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Lending to first-time buyers at its highest since 2007

A new report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has shown that more mortgages were handed to first-time buyers in June than in any other month since the credit crunch took hold in 2007.

Some 34,300 loans for house purchases were taken out by first-time buyers in June, 24% up on the previous month’s figures. The mortgages given to people getting onto the property ladder for the first time were worth £5.5billion.

The June 2016 figure is the highest for first-time buyer lending since August 2007, when 35,300 loans were handed out.

The rise in lending to first-time buyers has been driven by lower mortgage rates, government schemes such as Help to Buy and better buying conditions thanks to the recent buy-to-let stamp duty changes.

Last week’s decision by the Bank of England to cut the base rate to 0.25% could also help some first-time buyers to get even cheaper mortgage deals in the next few months.

It is, however, too early to say what impact the vote for Brexit will have on the housing market.

Mark Harris, of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “What we are seeing post-referendum is lenders keen to lend, resulting in some very attractive mortgages.”

Yorkshire Building Society’s Andrew McPhillips also commented: “We expect lending to continue to grow on an annual basis, but at a less pronounced level now following the outcome of the EU referendum.”

He added: “The referendum may cause some to wait until the dust settles before getting on the property ladder.”

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