Prospective borrowers are seeking out mortgage advice in greater numbers, with 8% more people finding an intermediary for a remortgage in the last two months.
More than two-fifths of remortgagors consulted an independent adviser or broker in April, up from 39% in March and 36% in February, said property services outsourcing company LMS.
Almost two-thirds said they are remortgaging to secure a lower mortgage rate, down from 68% in March with 30% of those borrowers increasing the size of their loan. One in five increased their loan amount by as much as £10,000.
However, almost two-fifths remortgaged to reduce their monthly payments by up to £500 in order to free up cash.
When asked for other reasons behind the remortgage, 22% said for home improvements, and one in ten wanted to pay off debt. Just two per cent remortgaged to find their children a deposit for a home.
Meanwhile, a little under half of the remortgagors asked were close to the end of their deal, which suggests borrowers are shopping proactively, not simply out of necessity.
Almost eight in ten borrowers ended up switching lenders to get the best deal.
Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said the stringent lending that emerged after the Mortgage Market Review is driving consumers into broker’s arms.
“Finding the best rate is only part of the battle, with brokers also able to help borrowers prepare for the more detailed checks and processes now required. As well as proving a useful resource for borrowers, brokers are also helping lenders handle increased levels of business.
“Gross remortgage lending is at its highest since July 2009 – this is clearly being driven by savvy consumers more aware of the economy, a boost in stability following the decisive election result and sunny prospects in the market for the rest of the year.”
Toni Smith, sales operations director, First Complete said: “I think this is really great news as it means that people are getting proper advice. I hope that it is because people are getting more switched onto to the idea of mortgage advice from intermediaries rather than just because fewer banks are giving the right service. What it means is that more people will now be receiving advice on a whole range of mortgage products rather than the ones just from one lender as was the case when people just walked into a local bank branch.”