Rush to beat stamp duty hike boosted March mortgage lending to 8yr high

By Lauren Burns

Total mortgage lending in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in March was 64 per cent higher than the same month last year, and was the highest figure since April 2008.

Mortgage approvals temporarily returned to pre-crash levels, with a total of £17.1billion lent to home buyers in the month of March. The number of property purchases increased dramatically as buyers rushed to complete before stamp duty changes were brought into effect on 1st April. Buy-to-let and second home purchasers stood to pay an extra 3 per cent in stamp duty if they did not complete before the end of March, and property conveyancing solicitors in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK rushed to get contracts exchanged and completions effected before the deadline.

The average mortgage amount rose to a record high of £184,200. However, mortgage lending, transaction levels and the average mortgage amount are all expected to fall again in April, as many transactions were brought forward in order to complete in March. It is also expected that the new additional 3 per cent stamp duty tax payable on second homes will have an impact on transaction levels.

If you are buying a property in Northern Ireland, and require a property conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal process for you, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9290.

If you want to know what to expect of the conveyancing process click here to watch our short YouTube video.