LMS: Remortgage completions up 57.4% compared with last month

Jessica Bird

May 15, 2020

Nick Chadbourne LMS remortgage completions

Remortgage completions were 57.4% higher in the second week of May, compared to the second week of April, according to proprietary data from conveyancing solutions provider LMS. 

There was a slight drop in completions week-on-week between the first and second weeks of May, as 1 May brought a 63.7% increase compared with the first working day of April.

Overall, remortgage completions are consistently running ahead of both march and April, and May 2020 volumes are ahead of those from May 2019.

Remortgage instruction volumes dropped by 25.6% between the first and second weeks of May, but this disparity is partly the result of fewer trading days due to the VE Day bank holiday.

In the week commencing 4 May, cancellations reached the highest level since the beginning of lockdown, with 23.4% more than in the week commencing 20 April.

The cancellation rate so far in May stands at 4.04%, but recent trends show up to 50% more cancellations than seasonal averages, so this is likely to increase.

Continued strong performance in terms of completions, coupled with a rise in cancellations and slightly decreased rate of instructions, means the pipeline is down 10% compared with the same point in 2019.

Nick Chadbourne (pictured), CEO of LMS, said: “The remortgage market continued its strong start to May with a prolonged surge in completion volumes, which is testament to the industry’s hard work in developing and investing in the processes required to handle non-standard and complex cases, under remote working conditions.

“We have seen a dip in the volume of instructions, though this could be attributed to the VE Day bank holiday on the second Friday in May, without which levels would have remained broadly on a par with what we have experienced throughout lockdown.

“Wednesday’s announcement that the housing market can reopen will likely have a sizeable impact on the remortgage sector.

“In the wider housing sector, we’ve already seen that online demand has increased for buyers.

“With changes in the economy impacting personal finances, including access to mortgages, we may see an increase in haggling through the sales process.

“We expect to see a release of pent up remortgage demand in the coming weeks, but it will take time to work through the backlog.

“Tens of thousands of applications awaiting a physical valuation across both the purchase and remortgage markets can now be progressed as physical surveys resume, and higher value [loan-to-value (LTV)] products which had been stuck at the underwriting stage can proceed.”

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