The Bank of England’s Money and Credit report confirmed 71,357 mortgage approvals in March, a fall to almost £21bn month-on-month.
However, remortgage levels increased from 40,895 approvals in February to 41,347 in March and increased from £7.3bn to £7.5bn in value.
Kevin Purvey, chairman of IMLA, said the statistics were a positive sign for the remortgage market.
“Having seen the remortgage market bounce back during summer and autumn of 2015, it’s a positive sign to see it remaining in rude health in the first quarter of 2016”, he said.
“This is likely to be influenced by intense competition among mortgage lenders, which has driven mortgage rates down to record lows.
“Following house price rises, it means now could be a sensible time to consider remortgaging whether simply to refinance or release equity. We expect remortgaging to be one of the strongest growth areas within the mortgage market this year, with homeowners looking to remortgage benefiting very much from lender competition and the plethora of products available.”
Consumer credit increased significantly to £1.9bn in March, compared to £1.4bn in February, which was also the average over the previous six months.