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Remortgage completions soar as borrowers target fixed-rate loans – IMLA

  • 09/11/2017
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Remortgage completions soar as borrowers target fixed-rate loans – IMLA
Almost eight in ten (78%) remortgage applications went through to completion during Q3 2017 as remortgage applications soared before the first Bank of England Base Rate rise in a decade.

This was the highest of all the segments tracked in the mortgage market by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) – with lending data showing remortgage activity spiked by 20% in September alone.

IMLA noted that back in Q2 2016, only 59 in every 100 remortgage applications reached completion.


Fixed-rate boom

IMLA also noted that demand had shifted significantly to fixed-rate mortgages during the first half of 2017 as homeowners attempted to protect themselves against the likely interest rate rises to come.

Three in four (76%) brokers reported an increase in demand for five-year fixed rates during the first six months of the year, with 23% stating that demand had increased substantially.

Nearly seven in ten (69%) lenders stated demand had increased, with 16% noticing a substantial increase.

Overall, three-quarters (76%) of all mortgage applications resulted in completion with all sectors tracked improving on the previous three months of 2017.

Completions per 100 applications:

  • All – 76% (up from 71% in Q2 2017)
  • First-time buyers – 74% (68%)
  • Homemovers – 74% (70%)
  • Remortgagors – 78% (75%)
  • Buy-to-let – 76% (71%)
  • Other specialist – 76% (70%)

On an annual basis, total mortgage applications that led to offers reached 88% in Q3 2017 (up from 75% in Q3 2016), while total offers that led to completions reached 86% (up from 74% in Q3 2016).


Intermediary success continuing

The IMLA quarterly Mortgage Market Tracker – which uses data from BDRC Continental – follows applicants’ journeys through the intermediary channel from initial enquiry through to completion.

IMLA said the rise in remortgage completions came amid an overall positive picture for the mortgage market in terms of consumers’ access to finance.

IMLA executive director Peter Williams believed the industry debate about a possible rate rise was clearly identified by borrowers across the UK. “As a rise became more of a certainty, significant numbers of homeowners have rushed to secure fixed rate mortgages priced to a 0.25% Bank rate for the next two, three, five or even ten years,” he said.

“While customers who remain on tracker and standard variable rates are now adjusting to the first increase in monthly loan repayments in the last ten years, unwavering borrower demand and lender supply should maintain competitive residential loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage pricing in what is now a -rate rise environment.

“Despite uncertainty in the wider economy, our data also shows the intermediary channel continuing its recent success in matching consumers with suitable products, helped by strong competition and appetite to lend within the boundaries of careful affordability rules,” he added.

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