Home-owners borrowed £13.8bn for house purchase in March this year, up 59% month-on-month and 60% year-on-year, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
They took out 69,800 loans, up 45% on February and 38% on March 2015. First-time buyers borrowed £4.5bn, up 32% on February and 29% on March last year, while home movers borrowed £9.3bn, up 75% on February and 82% compared to a year ago. Remortgage activity totalled £4.7bn, down 2% on February but up 7% compared to a year ago.
Unsurprisingly, landlord lending soared before the new 3% stamp duty surcharge came into effect with landlords borrowing £7.1bn, up 87% month-on-month and 163% year-on-year. This came to 45,000 loans in total, up 88% compared to February and up 142% compared to March 2015.
The surge in activity from landlords was even more evident when looking at borrowing over the whole first quarter as landlords borrowed £14.6bn in the period, up 36% quarter-on-quarter and 92% year-on-year, compared to homeowners who borrowed £30.9bn for house purchase, down 9% quarter-on-quarter but up 33% year-on-year. First-time buyers borrowed £11.2bn, down 16% on the fourth quarter 2015 but up 22% on the first quarter last year.