Remortgaging reaches highest level since 2009

Jessica Nangle

September 12, 2017

Remortgaging accounted for more than 70% of all buy-to-let lending in July after reaching an eight-year high in terms of volumes, UK Finance data has shown.

Remortgaging by homeowners totaled £6.7bn which equated to 36,800 remortgagors, a yearly rise of 12% and 10% respectively.

First-time buyers borrowed £5bn and took out 30,400 mortgages, which is an 8% annual increase.

Base rate held at 0.5%

June Deasy, head of mortgages policy at UK Finance, said: “Remortgaging strengthened in July and reached its highest level since January, with customers attracted by borrowing rates that are at or close to their historic low point.

“The increase in activity in July means that, over the last year, the number of people remortgaging has been at its highest since 2009.”

“Lending for house purchase was lower in July than in the preceding month, and we expect the market to continue to soften a little in the coming months.”

Lending for house purchases in July saw a monthly decrease of 15% however were 14% higher than in July 2016.

Homemovers borrowed £7.1bn which is 9% less than in June, yet 15% more than July 2016.

Buy-to-let lending totalled £3.2bn with a total of 20,500 mortgages, a slight rise from last year.

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, said: “The data shows that people are still willing to get on the housing ladder and move home if there is the housing stock there for them to do so.

“Remortgaging is the real story though as it hit the highest level since January, so talk of potential rate rises, together with record low rates is obviously having an effect on borrowers, even through the holiday season.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Even despite the uncertainty around Britain’s Brexit negotiations, these figures clearly show the mortgage market remains in a strong position.

“House price inflation may have slowed, but a general lack of housing supply continues to make the path to homeownership a difficult one. We must raise awareness about the valuable role of professional advice for those who might be concerned about the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit, and as an industry demonstrate the positive impact this can have on helping thousands of borrowers to secure a better deal.”

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