Figures from the Council of Mortgages Lenders show remorgaging picked up in March: 6% higher than a year earlier and a huge 19% up compared to the previous month – the first annual growth in nearly a year.
No doubt this was fuelled by the ongoing price war between lenders which has been driving rates down steadily since late 2014, making (worthwhile) savings a realistic possibility for ever more borrowers.
That’s particularly true at higher loan-to-value levels which previously saw less competition. But as lenders begin to hit the limit of what’s possible at low LTVs, they’ve become much more aggressive higher up the scale.
By mid-March it was possible to get 5-year fixed rate under 3% up to 80% LTV, whereas a year ago those remortgage rates would have been a challenge even at 60%. So borrowers who previously felt stuck on a Standard Variable Rate now find far more attractive options open to them.
Of course March was quite some time ago. Rates have continued to fall since then so we may well see remortgages grow further over April and May (though April’s figures won’t be released for another month) , and with the Bank of England’s latest Inflation Report hinting that Base Rate could increase in early 2016, it seems likely the impetus to secure a fix will only grow as well.