Jeff Knight, Foundation Home Loans marketing director, reckons first-time buyers and re-mortgaging has supported lending levels following a new report from UK Finance revealing consumer borrowing figures.
UK Finance data shows that consumer borrowing from High Street banks remained stable at 2 per cent in July, compared with 1.9 per cent in the previous month.
UK Finance also estimates that overall gross mortgage lending in July was £23billion. Accounting for seasonal factors, this figure is above the average lending figures seen over the past year.
First-time buyers and remortgage activity on the part of homeowners has supported lending for some time, but it is anticipated that the pace of growth will slow slightly, dampened by a potentially more challenging economic outlook.
Mr Knight said: “First time buyers and re-mortgaging have kept enough wind in the sails to support lending levels, despite the obvious challenges bought about by shifts in tax policy, stamp duty and lingering economic uncertainty.
“Looking longer term, however, the changes in buy-to-let tax relief alongside new underwriting standards will bring additional strain. Landlords have already started streamlining portfolio sizes to avoid taking a hit, and while this is a wise choice for some it’s equally important the rented sector offers choice and a positive option for tenants.
"With the summer slowdown approaching and the PRA regulation less than a month away, we need to ensure landlords are engaged with all the opportunities the market has to offer – and that includes support to help navigate the changes.”