By volume, month-on-month, remortgage transactions grew 46% to 40,300. Looking back to the same period a year earlier, lending by value rose 22% and 21% by volume.
Lending to first-time buyers and homeowners, however, slumped in January. Mortgage lenders advanced £3.6bn to first-timers, down 29% on December but up 9% year-on-year. Transaction levels also declined. Some 22,600 loans were offered to fledgling buyers in January, 29% fewer than in December, but a 7% increase year-on-year.
Existing homeowners, looking for their next purchase, borrowed £4.9bn, a decline of 25% on the previous month and 4% down year-on-year. The volume of lending suffered similar rates of decline. Mortgage lenders advanced 23,000 loans to homemovers, down 27% month-on-month and 7% compared to January 2016.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “January gives the impression of a flattish market overall, albeit one with a resurgent remortgage sector. We expect a seasonal dip in activity in the winter months and this appears to be the case in January. However, the lull in moving activity appears stubbornly persistent, and we have commissioned research on the reasons why the number of transactions seems in secular decline.”