Remortgaging hits four-year high
Figures from the BBA also showed lending to larger companies increased in July but overall continues to be fairly subdued. However, capital market finance grew by some £11.1bn in the first seven months of 2015.
In the wider credit card market the number of credit card purchases in July was 6% higher than a year before and continues to exceed growth in credit card borrowing (+4%).
Richard Woolhouse, chief economist at the BBA, said: “These figures show that thousands of us managed to tear ourselves away from the Ashes series to remortgage during July.
“This was a 29% surge on 12 months before and the highest figure we’ve seen for four years. Savvy homeowners are snapping up competitive deals before an expected increase in interest rates.
“There were concerns that new regulations had made applying for a mortgage more onerous. But remortgaging is still a straightforward process that can take even less time than Alastair Cook and his men took to beat Australia.”
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, added: “A fear of rising interest rates isn’t the only factor that can push remortgaging levels upwards.
“A positive combination of wage growth, low inflation and healthy house price growth is contributing to a mix of economic good news which is supporting the remortgage sector.
“Many homeowners now have a much stronger financial footing. They are re-assessing their finances and switching to better rates while they can. At the moment, a wide array of record low deals remain, despite some initial withdrawals, and it is these that homeowners are tapping into.
“The wider house purchase market is also in good shape, although it remains a struggle for many first-time buyers to put together the deposit they need to get onto the property ladder. This will remain the case until wage growth fully catches up with house price growth, and in that respect there is still a long way to go. In the meantime, financial support schemes like Help to Buy remain important tools to maintain healthy momentum at the bottom of the market.”