Belfast Telegraph

Remortgaging soars as cheap deals are snapped up

By Vicky Shaw

Re-mortgage lending lifted to its strongest levels in seven years in July as homeowners snapped up the available cheap deals, it has been reported.

Elsewhere, however there were signs of the market cooling to some degree, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which released the figures, said that it was too early to tell how much of this was down to the vote to leave the EU.

Mortgage lending to first-time buyers plunged by nearly a fifth month-on-month in July.

First-time buyers borrowed a total of £4.4bn worth of mortgages in July, marking a 19% drop-off compared with June and 4% down on July 2015.

The figures also illustrated that lending to home movers, coming in at £6.2bn, was down by 9% compared with June, and down by 16% compared with July 2015.

Meanwhile, landlords borrowed £3bn worth of mortgages in July, which was up slightly by 3% month-on-month, but down by 21% year-on-year.

The market was already seeing some signs of a slowdown before the EU referendum vote.

A stamp duty increase for buy-to-let investors was imposed on April 1, and this prompted a large number of landlords to take action and snap up properties before the deadline.

These purchases may otherwise have taken place later in the year, it was widely claimed by analysts.

However, homeowner re-mortgage activity in July bucked the cooling trend.

Some £6bn-worth of loans were taken out in July for re-mortgage purposes.

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