Mortgages 

Remortgage applications up 98% over six months

Remortgage applications up 98% over six months

The remortgage market has remained “extremely strong”, according to figures from Accord, which showed the number of borrowers renewing their mortgage doubled year-on-year in the six months to 30 November.

The summer remortgage trend has continued into autumn, with “unseasonably high” numbers of applications recorded by Yorkshire Building Society Group, of which intermediary-only lender Accord is part.

Applications for remortgages rose by 98 per cent in the six months to 30 November, year-on-year, while in September, applications were up 143 per cent compared to the same month in 2014.

The upswing over the three months equates to an increase of 128 per cent in the number of borrowers applying to remortgage year-on-year in September, October and November.

Data from comparison website Moneyfacts backed up the trend, showing mortgage rates were at a record low during the summer, when the average two-year fixed mortgage rate fell by 0.16 per cent at the start of July, to 2.76 per cent at the beginning of August, the lowest rate on record.

The reductions favoured higher loan-to-values disproportionately, although all rates for loan sizes across the market saw considerable rate cuts.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ predictions for the year ahead explained gross lending is likely to be supported by house purchase activity from home-owners and remortgage activity across the board.

Its latest figures found that home-owner remortgage activity was up 6 per cent by volume and 10 per cent by value in October, compared with September. When contrasted with October 2014, remortgage lending was up 19 per cent by volume and 34 per cent by value.

David Hollingworth, associate director at London & Country Mortgages, said a healthy number of borrowers have been taking the opportunity to review their mortgage and take advantage of the competitive rates on offer.

He said: “The combined appeal of cutting monthly payments and protecting against future rate rises should maintain a strong level of interest.

“Rates have not only improved for those with big deposits but also for those higher up the LTV scale, so there should be even more people that can now grab the opportunity to cut their mortgage costs.”

David Robinson, Accord’s national intermediary sales manager, said despite the Bank of England cooling its assertions that a base rate rise is around the corner, the appetite for remortgage is still extremely high amongst UK borrowers.

“Brokers have an important role to play in advising and helping their clients understand whether now could be the best time to remortgage.

“It’s a good opportunity for brokers to start a conversation with anyone who is coming to the end of the fixed rate tie-in on their mortgage, to examine whether they would benefit by fixing now while market conditions are still extremely favourable to borrowers.”

In a recent blog for FTAdviser, LMS chief executive Andy Knee commented that there is a tug of war between the complacency of some borrowers and the factors that make it an ideal time to remortgage.

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