NI mortgage borrowing hits a 10-year high after climbing 12% to £480m
Mortgage lending in Northern Ireland reached a 10-year high of £480m during the third quarter of the year, according to the latest figures.
Industry body UK Finance - formerly known as the Council for Mortgage Lenders - said borrowing by home-buyers rose 12% to reach £480m, up 20% on the third quarter of last year.
And borrowing by first-time buyers was up 24% to reach £260m in the third quarter.
Loans taken out by home-movers were also up 16% year-on-year at £220m.
Derek Wilson, the chairman of UK Finance's Northern Ireland mortgage committee, said: "Lending for house purchases picked up again in the third quarter and is now at its highest level for a decade.
"First-time buyers continue to borrow more than movers, with lower house prices helping to boost activity in what remains the most affordable region in the UK.
£More than half of first-time buyers managed to take out a mortgage for less than the stamp duty threshold of £125,000, either through purchasing outright or through co-ownership."
The figures come after the Chancellor announced he was abolishing stamp duty on first-time buyer home purchases of up to £300,000.
But the move is expected to have limited impact on the Northern Ireland housing market, where average prices are around £132,169 and the average first-time buyer purchase is around £111,000. And UK Finance said affordability for first-time buyers was unchanged in the third quarter. They typically borrowed £99,000, up from £96,950 a quarter earlier.
The average household income for first-time buyers was £32,622, up from £32,245 - with people typically borrowing 2.94 times their income.
That was also below the UK average multiplier of 3.61.
But home movers were borrowing less in the third quarter, at £116,413 - down from £119,000 in the second quarter.
The average household income of home movers in Northern Ireland was £45,376, down slightly from the year before. The typical home mover income multiple in the third quarter was 2.65.