Economic uncertainty and the seemingly inevitable slide into war, appear to have had little effect on the mortgage market, as the latest reports indicate that borrowers are still driving the market upwards.
While retailers have reported the first drop in sales in the run up to Christmas for four years, enquiries for mortgages and especially re-mortgages have carried on apace.
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders for November found that re-mortgaging continued to buoy the market, and accounted for more than two fifths of all lending. However, a survey carried out by mortgage network, Mortgage Intelligence, post-Christmas found that 60% of all new enquiries were for re-mortgages.
Sally Laker, managing director of mortgage network, Mortgage Intelligence, said: ‘In general, people are uncertain about world affairs, and you might have expected them to wait for a few months, but in the New Year people are still indicating they want to move.
‘Many people have debts after Christmas and it seems they think it is a good time for them to re-mortgage. With the level of house price increases last year, people are taking advantage of the equity in their homes.’
However, John Malone, national mortgage manager at Prudential’s Premier Mortgage Services, said other factors were distorting these figures: ‘The apparent high level of re-mortgaging is not that alarming at this time of year. Estate agents and house-builders are only listing a percentage of their properties at the moment, as seasonal factors mean that people are not out looking for new houses until at least the end of the month.’