Buyers fix-up mortgages
More than 19 in every 20 buyers applied for fixed rate deals last month, higher than the previous proportional high of 94% in January 2014.
The index, which utilised data from more than 500 brokers and 800 estate agents, concluded that February saw a third more buyer applications than January, 62% more than February 2013.
Between January and February 2,3 and 5-year fixed mortgages rose by 6 to 8 basis points based on data from Moneyfacts.co.uk, with average rates hitting 3.98%.
Since hitting their lowest point in August 2013, 5-year fixed mortgages have been rising over the last six months.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The surge of activity should help to keep rates competitive, but consumers may struggle to find many better deals in the months ahead than those already out there.
“5-year rates have been creeping up since last summer, so the chance to lock into a low interest rate is well worth considering. With property gaining in value, it’s no wonder so many buyers are keen to buy now if their finances allow it.”
February saw 33% more buyer applications than January and 62% more than the year before.
Remortgage applications also recorded a significant growth of 16% since January and 49% annually, with 89% of applicants opting to fix last month.
Murphy added: “There have been reassuring signs from the Bank of England that a rate rise is still some way off.
“When it finally happens, the Bank’s careful supervision of the economy means the base rate is only likely to rise gradually and should remain well below the 5% we were used to before the crisis.
“Lenders will want to put your finances through some rigorous ‘stress tests’ to check you can cope with higher rates, so ask your broker to advise what level of repayments you can reasonably afford.”
Average tracker rates fell between January and February to 2.82%, the lowest recorded in six and a half years.