Mortgage and remortgage approvals rose in May but mortgages still sit someway behind the six month average, according to the latest data from the Bank of England.
Mortgage approvals stood at 65,202 in May, up from 65,051, whilst remortgages hit 42,955, up from 40,437 the month before.
Net mortgage lending increased to £3.5bn from a 12-month low of £2.7bn in April.
Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “The number of remortgage approvals increased for the first time this year in May, despite a slight decline in the number of approvals compared to a year ago.
“Market conditions remain favourable for remortgagors. Mortgage rates remain low, which gives homeowners the option of locking into longer term deals amid an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop.
“LMS data shows that in recent months, homeowners view remortgaging as a viable way of reducing pressure on household budgets.
“In the run-up to the General Election and Brexit negotiations, it is no surprise that homeowners remortgaged in May as a safeguard against potential troubles further down the line.”
And Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, agreed that recent political upheaval has had an effect.
He added: “The effect of political uncertainty appears to be have had an effect on the housing market in May in terms of value.
“However, when we look at the figures more closely we see that volume is up on April, showing that it is the higher end of the market that is suffering. With house prices in London and the south east stalling it is the rest of the country that is keeping the market going, for a change.
“Mark Carney stated yesterday that it may actually be time to increase the base rate. If the MPC vote in favour of reducing stimulus next month we could see appetite stall further. It is difficult not to use the word uncertainty again, it feels like it has been the watch word for so long.
“Perhaps hesitation is better, let’s hope people are just standing back for a while to see how the land lies.”