LMS has revealed that 56% of those remortgaging in May took advantage of the competitive rates available to lower their mortgage rate.
32% of remortgagors were able to reduce their monthly outgoings by up to £500, while the number remortgaging to increase the size of their loan rose two percentage points from 24% to 26%. The number increasing their loan by more than £10,000 also increased in May to 19%, up three percentage points from a low of 16% in April.
The number of remortgagors who believe interest rates will rise has increased slightly from 12% in April to 14% in May, possibly propelled by uncertainty surrounding a potential Brexit and speculation this could see mortgage rates rise.
19% of borrowers used the cash released from remortgaging to spend on home improvements. Three percent borrowed to help their children up the property ladder while 7% chose to pay off other debts.
Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “Increased competition between lenders, record low rates and rising housing equity have come together to provide homeowners with a setting that is ripe for remortgaging. The number remortgaging hit a seven-year high in April and with over half of those lowering their mortgage rate and a quarter increasing the size of their loan in May, it is clear that many savvy borrowers are taking advantage of the current climate and we expect activity to maintain its momentum.
“For others, as the EU referendum looms ever closer with the outcome increasingly difficult to predict, homeowners are looking for stability in their monthly costs and prioritising long-term security over initial savings. We’re also seeing evidence in the market that many remortgagors are opting for a fixed rate to guarantee a set rate for a set period.
“Locking in is very competitive right now with huge savings to be made in the long-run even if it means in the short term they pay a little more. With an uncertain economic climate, knowing what your mortgage payment will be for five years is a very seductive offering for many remortgagors.”