House purchase lending in London fell in 2015, but the number of people who remortgaged rose, according to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

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New data from the CML shows that there were 81,600 loans in London in 2015, worth £24.5bn.

This marks a 5% drop in volume on 2014, but also marks a 1% rise in value.

First-time buyers took out loans 45,600 loans, worth £11.6bn.

First-time buyers in London took out loans 45,600 loans, worth £11.6bn. - Image by Vesna Cvorovic/

This was a 6% drop on the number of loans the previous year, and 1% less in value.

In contrast, the CML figures showed that remortgage lending is on the up.

There were 48,600 loans, worth £13.7bn, in 2015 – a 14% increase in volume, and 25% higher in value than 2014.  

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “House purchase lending in London fell in 2015 due mainly to a slow start: later months of the year saw activity pick up again.

“Persisting supply and affordability issues, alongside the introduction of the Help to Buy London scheme, means there will be some uncertainty around how the market will perform going into 2016. 

“By contrast, remortgage activity, which has been consistently flat for the past few years, appears to be on an upward trend.

Persisting supply and affordability issues mean uncertainty around how the mortgage market will perform in 2016. - Image by r.nagy/
“Competitive mortgage rates appear to have sparked this activity and we have not seen quarterly volumes at this level since 2009.” 

The CML also released figures on lending in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In Wales, homeowner purchase lending was up 4% by volume and 10% by value compared to 2014, totalling 27,300 and £3.4bn.

First-time buyers took out 13,000 loans, worth £1.4bn, up 7% by volume and 10% by value year-on-year.

In Scotland, there were 64,800 loans in 2015, up 9% on 2014, which totalled £8.5bn, up 14% on 2014.

And in Northern Ireland, annual homeowner house purchase loans totalled 13,100, worth £1.3bn, up 2% by volume and 5% by value on 2014.

Members of the CML include banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK.

There are 11.1m mortgages in the UK, with loans worth more than £1.3 trillion.