UK surveyors report a resurgence in remortgage activity

Taylor Scott International News

November saw a resurgence in remortgaging activity even as the rest of UK housing market cooled, according to the latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation. Remortgaging was the most robust sector of the housing market and performed well both on a monthly and annual basis. The total number of remortgaging valuations conducted in November increased by 10% compared to October, and by 3% compared to November last year. ‘Remortgaging is defying the rest of the market. With the base rate set to remain low well into 2015, it is clear that this is driving demand,’ said John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation. ‘Lenders continue to offer even more competitive mortgage rates, while many households are using this opportunity to remortgage and reduce their monthly payments,’ he added. By contrast, the total number of valuations for all purposes fell 5% on an annual basis. This is a considerable improvement from a steeper drop of 10% over the 12 months to October 2014. On a monthly basis property valuations remained static since October. According to the firm November saw a marked shift in sentiment with more lenders and borrowers opting for a tone of caution. ‘Regulatory changes continue to impact other sectors of the market, especially first time buyers with restrictions on lending. On the other hand, the low base rate has powered demand for remortgaging, and to a lesser extent, buy to let,’ explained Bagshaw. ‘While this year the total number of valuations fell by 5% compared to last year, this annual figure compares favourably with historic data and exceeds the number of valuations recorded in November 2012, 2011 and 2010. With so many variables in play it remains to be seen whether this points to a cooling market in 2015 or if this is part of the usual festive seasonal trend,’ he pointed out. Buy to let also performed well compared with the rest of the market. On a monthly basis, the number of buy to let valuations dipped 5% since October and by 1% compared to the previous November. The sector is supported by an array of low LTV products and lenders have become more focused on low risk borrowers, such as landlords who typically have lower LTVs and multiple streams of income, according to the firm. As a proportion, first time buyer valuations now make up under a third of total activity at 28%. In terms of numbers this area of the market was down the most on an annual basis with a fall of 11% and also dipped 7% compared to the previous month. The number of valuations for owner occupiers moving home saw the second fastest annual fall, down 9% compared to November last year. However, on a month on month basis this sector of the market saw no change. ‘Recent policy changes such as loan… Continue reading →

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