Rise in remortgaging in January
Remortgagors borrowed £5.8bn In January, up a significant 35% on December and 32% compared with a year ago, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
This totalled 33,100 loans, a rise of 28% month-on-month and 19% compared with a year ago.
The substantial increases in remortgaging month-on-month (and year-on-year), resulted in the highest lending borrowed in a single month for remortgaging in the UK since January 2009.
Purchase business flat
Home mover activity was also affected by the seasonal lull, with January experiencing the lowest number of home mover loans advanced for house purchase since February 2015.
Home movers borrowed £5.1bn, down 24% on December but up 11% compared with a year ago. This totalled 24,800 loans, down 26% month-on-month but up 3% on January 2015.
First-time buyers borrowed £3.3bn in January, down 27% on December but up 14% on January last year.
This was the lowest first-time buyer borrowing level since February 2015 and in line with the expected seasonal dip in activity. Looking through seasonal factors, lending was flat in January, compared with December 2015.
However, affordability was slightly improved this month with average loan sizes and loan-to-income multiples decreasing compared to December. The proportion of income first-time buyers are committing to capital and interest repayments remained at its lowest level since records began in 2005.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented: “We are now pleased to be able to analyse monthly lending on a seasonally adjusted basis. While the unadjusted data appears to show large falls in January compared with December, stripping out the usual January lull we see a general picture of flat house purchase lending but a significant uptick in remortgage activity, as borrowers continue to seek attractive new deals despite the lower-for-longer expectations for interest rates.”