The cooling of the housing market has been well publicised, but it seems the wider factors have also taken their toll on remortgaging figures, with the total lent during October falling to the lowest month ten number since during the recession.
LMS indicates that just £3.5 billion went on this kind of home loan during the month, down from the £4.4 billion that the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recorded in September. It was back in 2010 when the monthly remortgage loans total was at such a low level.
It wasn`t just the value of loans that fell during October, with the year on year volumes dropping by a fifth to 23,505 in 2014, compared to 29,700 last year. The average value of a remortgage fell below £150,000 (£149715) as well; only marginally up from October 2013.
The falling remortgaging figures may have been impacted by legacy left behind by the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which tightened lending rules so that banks and consumers could be more confident that repayments would be manageable for the duration of the loan.
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Andy Knee is the chief executive of LMS and he remarks that `even with the competitive rates on offer, customers appear hesitant to take advantage of these perhaps, in part, due to the increased regulation of MMR or the introduction of loan to income caps`.
He goes on to add that `recent months have witnessed evidence of a wider cooling in the market as house price growth and loan approvals slow, but it awaits to be seen whether this is a permanent trend, or simply a slowdown in the lead up to Christmas`.
Whether it is just a blip in the housing market or if it`s a new level we should get settled in at, it`s not just affecting the remortgage market. Figures from the British Bankers` Association (BBA) show that October saw mortgage approvals fall to the lowest level since May last year.
A little over 37,000 (37,076) mortgages were approved during the month, down from more than 39,000 (39,127) during September. Even though we should expect fewer deals to be closed as the year draws on, the existing figures are relatively anaemic compared to pre-recession levels, when mortgage approvals were tens of thousands higher.
Falling approval numbers is likely to impact on house price growth over the next year too, with the Halifax suggesting that inflation could be around three to five per cent in 2015. By comparison, this year to July saw the average house price go up by ten per cent.
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