Remortgage activity picked up pace in October, making up 25% of all applications and reaching its highest level since March 2009, shows the latest research from Countrywide.
It says consumer confidence has played a key role in this development as a growing number of customers shift from the uncertainty of a Standard Variable Rate mortgage to a new raft of competitive remortgages with interest rates lower than the SVR rates being offered by a number of leading high street lenders.
Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, says: “From an estate agency perspective, new sales instructions saw a marginal dip in October indicating that only buyers and sellers that are serious about making a move are doing so. To date, UK house transactions are in a similar place to 2009; however the strong recovery of H2 2009 is in stark contrast to the flat levels that we’re seeing currently.”
He says the market is still active but lending restrictions and general lack of confidence might be holding back those non essential movers which underpin the market’s recovery.
He adds: “The latest figures from our network of 1,300 estate agency and lettings branches suggest that while the number of new rental properties entering the market increased for the sixth consecutive month, tenant demand remains strong with over 16,000 new applicants registering for rental accommodation in October.
“Overall there were 4.5 tenants vying for available rental properties in October, fuelling further concern over tenant demand and rental supply.”