Higher mortgages for new buyers
THE number of first-time buyers reached its biggest yearly total in five years, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
A total of 216,200 first-time buyers became homeowners in 2012, the first time the annual total has exceeded 200,000 since 2007.
There was also a modest but discernible increase in lending at higher loan-to-value ratios in the last quarter. While the average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio stayed at 80 per cent, where it has been for two years, it masks some encouraging movement in higher LTV. One in 40 first-time buyers took out a 95 per cent mortgage compared with fewer than one in 100 a year earlier. And about one in five first-time buyers borrowed 90 per cent or more.