New research from Connells Survey & Valuation has found that one out of every three property valuations came from owner occupiers or landlords remortgaging in June.
This growth in remortgage valuations is 7 percentage points above the five year average for June.
Standard remortgaging represents 23% of market activity, while buy-to-let remortgaging accounts for a further 10% of loans. When combined, both types of remortgaging are responsible for more activity in the mortgage market than first-time buyers, buy-to-let or those who own a property and are looking to move.
As landlords’ margins are eroded and the cost of living increases for owner-occupiers, many owners are looking to remortgage to reduce their monthly repayments. The lower rates on offer are incentivising homeowners to refinance now, ahead of a potential base rate rise later in the year.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Remortgaging is now taking a leading role in the mortgage market. Low interest rates on offer are attracting owner-occupiers and landlords eager to offset rising costs. This has led to remortgage activity more than doubling since 2009 as a percentage of the market, with a base rate close to zero for a decade. Many homeowners have chosen to remortgage to reduce monthly repayments, freeing up additional income.
With the reduction in buy-to-let mortgage tax relief, landlords are also looking to cut their monthly repayments. When combined, buy-to-let remortgaging and traditional remortgaging are now a more significant segment of the market than first-time buyers – a stark contrast from a couple of years ago.
While it now appears unlikely that the Bank of England will raise the base rate in August, the economy remains turbulent. Many owner-occupiers are finding they have less disposable income, so the ability to cut their monthly repayments is proving enticing. The political uncertainty from Brexit and the hung parliament are encouraging consumers to refinance to ensure they are better prepared, should the economy slow down later in the year.”
First time buyer valuations return to five year average
Valuations from first-time buyers declined to 31% of the market in June. While this is 3 percentage points lower than June 2016, it’s in line with the five year average for the month.
John Bagshaw, concludes: “There has been a slowdown in the first-time buyer segment in June. Rising rents, coupled with limited wage growth may have meant it’s been potentially harder for aspiring homeowners to save for a deposit. While the remortgage market goes from strength to strength, more needs to be done to help first-time buyers get a foot on the ladder.
The property market is struggling with a lack of leadership. The ministerial merry-go-round means we’ve had six different housing ministers in seven years. As a result, no one has been able to steer through policies which would step-up housebuilding. Britain must start meeting its new home targets, allowing the supply of homes to match demand. If not, the proportion of first-time buyers looks set to fall further in the coming years.”