An LMS survey revealed a third of those also increased the size of their borrowings and over a fifth increased loans by more than £10,000.
The average amount of equity withdrawn through remortgaging has almost doubled year-on-year as people remortgage to help pay off debt or generate extra funds.
Meanwhile, 40% remortgaged to reduce their monthly payments by up to £500 to free up cash as households continue to feel the pinch, despite record-low inflation and initial signs of wage growth.
Remortgaging also meant that 20% were able to fund home improvements, and more than one in ten (12%) could pay off other debts. A small number of homeowners also said they planned to use the money to fulfil their children’s ambitions of owning their home (1%).
Just 4% of remortgagors were incentivised by their existing lender to stay with them.
More than a third (36%) have spoken with an independent mortgage adviser or broker, but the number of those requesting a consultation has also fallen from January as borrowers feel confident making the switch alone.
Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, (pictured) said: “Homeowners are clearly aware of the mortgage deals in the market and many have been quick to snap up better offers. There is an optimism in the market fuelled by increased lender competition and the perception that interest rates will not rise in the near future, also manifesting itself in a decrease in borrowers seeking intermediary advice.”
Knee added that borrowers shouldn’t be complacent though with Swap rates on the rise so shouldn’t delay switching for too long with the election uncertainty also on the horizon.
Rob Wood, chief UK economist at Berenberg says the availability of cheap money helped the housing market shake off its blues in February.
“Tumbling mortgage rates, Stamp Duty cuts for most movers and resurgent real wages are beginning to boost the market. Approvals have risen for three months in a row and sit 4.8% off their November trough. We look for house prices to rise 5% this year,” he added.