Northern Ireland first-time buyers up 33%

The number of mortgages given to first-time buyers in Northern Ireland increased 33% in Q1 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, according to data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

First-time buyers took out 1,600 loans worth £130 million in Q1 2014, a 44% increase in value compared to Q1 2013.

However, the data also reveals that the number of loans for first-time buyers fell 11% in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013.

Key findings for Q1 2014:

  • the average amount borrowed by first-time buyers in Northern Ireland was £72,000, lower than the UK average of £118,750
  • the average household income of first-time buyers was £25,000
  • 2,700 loans were advanced for homeowner house-purchase in Q1 2014, a 35% increase compared to Q1 2013
  • homeowner house purchase loans fell 7% in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013.

Brian McCormick, chair of the CML in Northern Ireland, said:

"The strong upward year-on-year trend in Northern Ireland is showing growth in all borrower types. In particular, it is good to see affordability for first-time buyers remain at a more favourable level than the UK overall. Northern Ireland has very particular challenges compared to the rest of the YUK so seeing increased activity over the past few quarters shows progress that will hopefully continue going forward."