LMS: Remortgage market holding firm

Ryan Fowler

April 15, 2020

Despite the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) the remortgage market is holding firm, according to conveyancing solutions provider LMS.

Its latest weekly update includes LMS’ proprietary data on pipeline activity and cancellation volumes, on top of remortgage instructions and completions.

It found instruction volumes began to show signs of steadying in the week commencing 6 April, with a reduction of just 14% in new cases from the previous week, and 18.9% from the week commencing 16 March, when lockdown measures were first announced.

Pipeline activity coming into April was 6% higher than the same point last year, and we expect continued growth throughout the month, as normal, before resetting at the start of May.

As the baseline for cancellations in real terms was already very low, the overall increase of 35% still only accounts for less than 1% of all remortgage transactions, so has limited impact on overall market performance.

Nick Chadbourne, CEO of LMS, said: “There is cause to be optimistic when looking at both yearly comparisons of our key indicators and the upcoming pipeline data.

“For borrowers looking to remortgage, the industry remains firmly open for business as usual.

“Initial positive signs for instructions from the start of the month have carried through to the middle of April, and ERCs will continue to sustain volumes through to May.

“As process issues continue to be improved, the hard work of parties all across the remortgage journey should see cases return to near normal levels, and pipeline data should get healthier still.

“More restricted access to redemption statements and extended lender timelines remain factors to be dealt with, but progress is being made and the market keeps moving forwards.

“In a positive sign for remortgaging, combined cancellations and completions ran below instructions at the end of last week. That means the pipeline is beginning to grow and should sustain the market through the coming months.

“As we move further through this crisis, we expect the remortgage market to remain strong and much of the work from lenders and conveyancers to update and digitise their processes will result in stronger businesses and a stronger industry for years to come.”

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