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Remortgagors cash in as lenders battle over rates

Written by: Rebekah Commane
Increased competition among mortgage lenders has led to more than half of remortgage borrowers securing a lower interest rate, research by property services firm LMS reveal.

The data showed that 56% of remortgagors were able to take advantage of improved interest rates while a third reduced their monthly outgoings by up to £500.

The number of people remortgaging to increase the size of their loan rose 2% to 26% in May and the loans were increased by more than £10,000 by 19% of remortgagors, up from 16% in April.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said increased competition between lenders, record low rates and rising housing equity were contributing to a setting that is “ripe for remortgaging”.

“The number remortgaging hit a seven-year high in April and with over half of those lowering their mortgage rate  and a quarter increasing the size of their loan in May, it is clear that many savvy borrowers are taking advantage of the current climate and we expect activity to maintain its momentum,” said Knee.

“For others, as the EU referendum looms ever closer with the outcome increasingly difficult to predict, homeowners are looking for stability in their monthly costs and prioritising long-term security over initial savings.

“We’re also seeing evidence in the market that many remortgagors are opting for a fixed rate to guarantee a set rate for a set period. Locking in is very competitive right now with huge savings to be made in the long run even if it means in the short term they pay a little more. With an uncertain economic climate, knowing what your mortgage payment will be for five years is a very seductive offering for many remortgagors.”

The number of remortgagors who believe interest rates will rise has increased slightly from 12% in April to 14% in May, which Knee says is possibly propelled by uncertainty surrounding a potential Brexit and speculation this could see mortgage rates rise.

One in five (19%) borrowers used remortgaging to generate cash for home improvements, while 3% used it to help their children to buy property.

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