Remortgage activity starts to recover
The John Charcol Index revealed that the market share taken by remortgages (including product transfers) increased for the third month running.
“Purchases took only 47.3% of mortgages sold by John Charcol in February, down from a peak of 58.5% in November,” commented Ray Boulger of John Charcol. “The February figure is the lowest market share taken by purchases since April of last year and provides evidence that activity in the remortgage market has bottomed out. After the normal seasonal lull in December, John Charcol placed significantly more business in January and February, adding to the other evidence that the downturn in mortgage approvals and lending reported by the Bank of England and the Council of Mortgage Lenders for January will be reversed when the February figures are released.
“Both purchase and remortgage activity has increased this year, but remortgages have increased more. However, detailed analysis of the figures shows that all of the increase in remortgage activity over the last two months is due to a particularly sharp increase in buy-to-let remortgages. Therefore, although mortgage rates have been steadily improving over the last few months, and in the residential market there are now even decent rates available up to 85% LTV – which makes remortgaging worthwhile for many more people – it is too early to be confident of an ongoing increase in remortgage activity.”