Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:
“For anyone looking to buy a home in the New Year, the prospects for borrowing are encouraging with mortgage lending to households expected to increase in the first quarter. This follows three months of steady growth in spite of Q4 usually experiencing a seasonal slowdown. Healthy appetite from consumers for mortgage borrowing is set to continue and accelerate into 2016.
“Buy-to-let and remortgage borrowers were especially active as the year came to a close, with lenders reporting a hike in demand. Landlords received another blow in the Autumn Statement, so we are likely to see a further rush in buy-to-let lending before the Stamp Duty changes come into play in April.
“Existing homeowners are becoming increasingly aware that the clock is ticking on rock-bottom mortgage rates. While any increase in interest rates would be gradual at first, many buyers will be looking to take advantage of the current market and lock into preferential rates. As house prices continue to rise, homeowners are in a prime position to leverage rising housing equity to unlock more affordable rates.”