An annual increase in two key measures, first-time buyer and home mover mortgages, is good news for the mortgage market. Not only has first-time buyer activity bounced back from the first annual decline since September, but the closely watched behaviour of home movers appears to have sprung into life.
Home movers have surprised, posting annual growth of more than 6 percent compared with a decline of equal magnitude a month ago. This is hopefully an early hint of what the future holds for the recovery in sales volumes.
Recent data has continued to paint a picture of a market impacted by low transaction volumes as high prices and low supply have helped to create a toxic mix for those seeking both choice and value. Our housing market needs to see the back of this era to help the market find fair value more easily, and avoid any cliff edges in affordability that can dramatically affect prices.
An annual drop in the number of re-mortgage completions is likely a reflection of greater home mover activity, and brings an end to a full year of continued annual growth for re-mortgaging.