Remortgage enquiries hit a high in March

Enquiries from those looking to remortgage hit an all time high in March, according to the latest figures from unbiased.co.uk.

Its figures show 37% of all searches carried out on its find a mortgage adviser search were for remortgages, compared to 33% in February 2012 and 31% in March last year.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, says recent hikes in rates from mortgage lenders means consumers are looking to change deals.

She says “Our consumer search has seen an increase in the number of people searching for remortgage advice, indicating borrowers who are worried about lending criteria getting tighter are now taking the opportunity to ensure they can obtain the best rate before it becomes harder to switch to a better deal.”

Fears were raised last week when the Financial Services Consumer Panel warned that borrowers could find it harder to remortgage once new rules from the Financial Services Authority’s Mortgage Market Review come into play next year.

Barrett adds: “The new rules will affect the 11.2 million households stuck on interest-only deals, as well as more than a million borrowers who have been hit by the recent spate of lenders announcing mortgage rate increases.

“Last week, Co-op became the latest bank to push up mortgage payments joining the Bank of Ireland, Halifax, Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks in raising their standard variable rate.

“This is a further indication that more lenders may follow suit and so it is now more important than ever for people to shop around for a better deal.”