New data, released in February 2016, from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reveals a mixed picture on lending in December to November, especially in the area of home-owner remortgage activity.  However, annually, the value of lending increased across all lending types, including first-time buyers. 

In December 2015, first-time buyers borrowed £4.5bn, up 7% on November 2015, and 18% on December 2014.  Similarly, annually, first-time-buyers borrowed £46.7bn for home-owner house purchase in 2015, which was up 4% on 2014.  By comparison, gross buy-to-let saw month-on-month decreases, down 3% in both volume and value.  However, year-on-year growth continued to show a positive trend up 28% by volume and 39% by value, which means buy-to-let lending was at its highest since 2007.  In comparison to these trends, home-owner remortgage activity was down 16% by volume and 16% by value compared to November 2015.  Compared to December 2014, remortgage lending was up 14% by volume and up 24% by value. 

Paul Smee, Director General of the CML, believes the positive figures for first-time-buyers are due to improving economic conditions, and the impact of government schemes such as Help to Buy.  The CML expects this trend to continue with gross lending increasing to 2018.