First-time buyers up a third in NI

Loans to first-time home buyers in Northern Ireland increased 29% in the last year and 13% in the last quarter, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed.

The 1,800 first-time buyers in Northern Ireland borrowed £150 million in Q2 2014 - 25% more than the previous quarter and 36% more than Q2 2013.

Important figures about first-time buyers in Northern Ireland:

  • they borrow 2.9 times their gross income; the UK average is 3.46
  • the average first-time buyer loan is £78,000
  • the average gross income is £26,300.

Other information about borrowing in Northern Ireland:

  • loans to home movers were unchanged between Q1 and Q2 2014 but were up 22% compared to Q2 2013
  • remortgage lending grew in both Q2 2014 and compared to Q2 2013.

Jackie Bennett, head of policy at CML, commented:

"There has been substantial growth in both house purchase and remortgage lending suggesting the market is in a much healthier state than it was this time last year. Affordability in Northern Ireland is currently better than in the UK overall and, with house price growth also seen over the past few months, it would suggest potential for optimism in the second half of the year."

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