Official data from the Bank of England showed a slight dip in lending and approvals in March, which was then reflected with a rebound in April.
Coreco director Andrew Montlake said the figures reflected increased activity in the mortgage market at the passing Brexit deadline.
“While the passing of the 29 March Brexit deadline will have spurred some into action in April, a broader Brexit apathy is becoming stronger by the day,” he said.
“April was the month when activity levels for brokers started to pick up and this was confirmed in the bank’s latest data.
“People are increasingly of the view that, even if prices fall in the short-term following a potential no-deal Brexit, in the medium-term they will reap the benefits.”
Montlake noted that while remortgages have been driving activity for some time, over the past two months there had been a definitive pick-up in purchases.
“First-time buyers are still the most active demographic, but there’s now considerably more transactions further up the property ladder too,” he added.
Lending and approvals up
According to the Bank of England data, 130,000 loans against residential property were approved last month, up from 124,317 in April 2018 and from 126,681 in March 2019.
This trend was replicated in house purchase approvals, where 66,261 were agreed in April – up from 62,559 the previous month and 63,814 in April last year.
However, while remortgaging approvals were up on April last year, the 49,401 figure was down slightly on the 41,615 in March.
Overall, £22.75bn of mortgage lending was completed last month, up more than £1bn on the March total and almost £500m higher than the average from the first three months of 2019.
Not reliant on remortgaging
Phoebus Software sales and marketing director Richard Pike agreed that the trend of borrowing had switched slightly and was no longer so heavily reliant on remortgaging.
“It appears from the Bank of England figures this morning that remortgaging, which has had a big part to play in holding up the mortgage market in the last couple of years, has at last levelled out,” he said.
“Of course, for those people that took advantage of the stamp duty relief to move their current deals will have come to an end and we could see another uptick in the remortgaging figures next month.
“With household debt rising consistently remortgaging to a better, less expensive, deal is one way quick way to reduce household spend and even consolidate some debt.
“Conversely, the number of approvals for house purchase increased, which is a good sign for the whole market. As lenders offer better and better rates and deals, it is a good time for people to move up, or down, the ladder.”