Comment on UK Finance’s latest mortgage trends update

Commenting on UK Finance’s mortgage lending trends, Steve McNicholas, Managing Director – Credit and Marketing Data, Callcredit Information Group, said:

“The latest UK Finance statistics show a small spike in mortgage lending overall, but particularly for first-time buyers, which have gone up by 7% in January, likely because of the stamp duty cut in the last Budget.

“Since the interest rate hike in November 2017, we’ve seen the overall market cool considerably but these figures show that the number of mortgages has gone up slightly in the last period, as more people look to buy properties ahead of another potential interest rate hike in 2018. Should this rate rise happen, we’re likely to see a continued cooling of the market.

“These figures paint a more subdued picture of the UK economy. If the market does continue to cool lenders need to remain diligent and focused. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that they continue to maintain exhaustive affordability checks. This will not only ensure that individual borrowers are protected from increasing household debt but that the wider economy is also shielded.”