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First-time buyers are struggling to secure a mortgage in comparison to last year, according to recent statistics.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that people wanting to get on the property ladder found it easier in March and April, 2014, compared to the same time this year.

Figures show mover lending volumes went up slightly month-on-month, but there was still a year-on-year decline compared to April last year.

Home-owner remortgage activity declined compared to last year, but buy-to-let continues to grow year-on-year, mainly driven by remortgage activity, although there was month-on-month decline compared to March.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said:

"House purchase lending in April was relatively subdued compared to last year, but similar to activity in March. The economy is recovering, with employment up, earnings growing, and competitive mortgage rates, so we expect activity to continue building as the year progresses. Buy-to-let is showing stronger growth than home-owner lending, buoyed significantly by remortgaging, which continues to remain more subdued in the home-owner market."

Gross lending in April was £15.8bn, down from £16.1bn in March and £16.8bn in April last year.

More than £3.3 billion was loaned to first-time buyers, which was down 3% month-on-month, and down 8% year-on-year.

The £4.9 billion loaned to home-movers was also down 8% year-on-year, but had fared better in the month-on-month statistics, where it had remained the same.

Remortgaging was down 2% in both month-on-month and year-on-year.

In the buy-to-rent market, house buying was up 22% year-on-year, but down 8% month-on-month.

However, loans for remortgaging buy-to-rent properties was up a staggering 40% compared to last year, and had remained the same from the previous month.

Karen James, Head of Residential Property at Ramsdens comments:

"There was a noticeable slowing down of the housing market in the run up to the general election. Whatever your political persuasion, having a majority government in power means certainty going forward and that the recovery can continue. The Conservatives applied a strong focus on housing issues throughout their campaign, so the property industry knows what positive steps it can look forward to over the next five years"

  • An extension to the Help to Buy Scheme to cover another 120,000 homes (in total helping over 200,000 people) and al continuation of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee until 2017 and the Help to Buy equity loan until at least 2020.
  • An introduction later on this year of a new Help to Buy ISA to help first time buyers saving for a deposit, providing a 25% ‘top up’ to the investment.
  • More affordable homes being built for first time buyers including 200,000 ‘new starter homes’
  • An intention that 90% of all suitable brownfield sites will have planning permission for housing by 2020 and a funding of Housing Zones which should create 95000 new homes
  • An extension of the Right to Buy Scheme to over 1.3 million tenants of Housing Associations
  • An intention to set up a £1 billion ‘brownfield regeneration fund’ which will provide infrastructure and clean sites for an additional 400,000 homes.

It is likely that the property market in Yorkshire, as in the rest of the country, will now see an increase in the number of transactions. A buoyant market means economic confidence grows and people spend more money.