Remortgaging rebounds in July

Remortgaging rebounds in July

Lending for house purchases in July was less than in the preceding month but greater than a year earlier, UK Finance data showed.

First-time buyers borrowed £5bn, 15 per cent less than in June but 14 per cent more than in July 2016.  

They took out 30,400 mortgages, down 16 per cent on the preceding month but up 8 per cent year-on-year.

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Home movers borrowed £7.1bn, 9 per cent less than in June but 15 per cent more than in July last year.

This equated to 32,800 loans, down 10 per cent on June but up 10 per cent on July 2016.

Remortgaging by home owners totalled £6.7bn, 12 per cent more than in both the preceding month and in July last year.  

The number of people remortgaging totalled 36,800, up 7 per cent on June and 10 per cent more than a year ago.

Buy-to-let lending totalled £3.2bn, 7 per cent more than in June and 7 per cent more than in July last year.  

Number of loans for house purchase and remortgage     
 House purchaseRemortgage
 FTBsMoversBuy-to-letHome ownersBuy-to-let
1 month change-15.80%-9.90%-3.00%7.00%9.60%
12 month change8.20%10.10%4.90%9.90%10.50%

This equated to 20,500 mortgages, 5 per cent more than in June and 9 per cent more than in July last year.

June Deasy, UK Finance’s head of mortgages policy, said: “Remortgaging strengthened in July and reached its highest level since January, with customers attracted by borrowing rates that are at or close to their historic low point. 

“The increase in activity in July means that, over the last year, the number of people remortgaging has been at its highest since 2009.

“Lending for house purchase was lower in July than in the preceding month, and we expect the market to continue to soften a little in the coming months.”

Shaun Church, director at mortgage broker Private Finance, said: “Remortgaging roared back to life in July, as annual remortgage volumes reached their highest level since 2009. 

“With interest rates remaining at or close to historic lows, now is a great time to switch to a more affordable deal.

“There are new signs of life in the buy-to-let market, although this is predominantly being driven by remortgage activity. 

“However, new regulatory changes coming into force at the end of the month will make accessing mortgage finance harder for landlords with multiple properties: another deterrent for investors already punished by recent reforms.

“The continued squeeze on household incomes and an uncertain economic outlook mean that while house prices continue to rise, they are doing so at a slower rate than in previous years. 

“This is undoubtedly good news for prospective first-time buyers trying to get on the housing ladder. However, homeowners and buy-to-let investors may be less enthused by a slower rate of capital growth on their investment.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Even despite the uncertainty around Britain’s Brexit negotiations, these figures clearly show the mortgage market remains in a strong position. 

“More buyers are accessing the funds they need to make their next move on the housing ladder, and this should be welcome news for the wider economy.”