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Rate rise fears drive remortgage surge

Rate rise fears drives remortgage surge

The anticipation of an interest rate rise has triggered a surge in remortgaging activity, according to research conducted by LMS.

The number of remortgagers anticipating a rate increase rose by 66%, with approximately 10,803 remortgagors in December 2016 fearing a rise, up from approximately 6,500 in December 2015.

Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) data has revealed that homeowner remortgage activity was up 7% by both volume and value in December 2016 compared with December 2015.

Figures from LMS showed that average interest rates rose slightly from 2.16% in October 2016 to 2.17% in November 2016, the first such rise since February 2016.

Remortgaging accounted for 17.8% of household income, with 85% of remortgagors lowering their rate, and 19% of them remortgaging to increase the size of their loan.

On average homeowners remortgaged every five years, and the number of fixed five-year mortgages doubled in popularity in December 2016 from 11% to 23%.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “2016 was a great year for remortgaging.

“There were drivers on both supply and demand side.

“Record low rates and anticipation of a rate rise in 2017 contributed heavily to the huge surge in activity.

“With inflation set to outstrip wage growth over the coming year, the opportunity to lower mortgage rates and reduce monthly outgoings will provide welcome relief for many families dreading the squeeze on household budgets – evidenced by price being the primary motivation when choosing a lender.”

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