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Monday 5th March 2018

There has been a significant rise in the number of first time buyer mortgage applications via intermediaries being approved in the UK as access to home lending improved for this sector.

The latest mortgage market tracer from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) shows that 74% of first time buyers’ mortgage applications resulted in a completion during the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 53% in the same quarter in 2016.

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The figures also show that nine in 10, some 88%, of first time buyers secured a mortgage offer, up from 73% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Some 84% of these offers went on to complete compared to 72% in the previous 12 months.

The report points out that the situation for first time buyers has improved without a noticeable change to the burden of mortgage repayments they are taking on. In December 2016 UK Finance data shows average first time buyer mortgage repayments were equivalent to 17.4% of income. This remained largely stable throughout 2017 and actually fell to 17.1% of income in December 2017.

The average loan to value also reduced slightly from 82% in December 2016 to 81.4% at the end of 2017 as first time buyers’ average borrowing remained stable as a proportion of the overall price paid for their homes.