Apr 12, 2012
Latest figures from unbiased.co.uk’s Advice Drivers report show that remortgage enquiries hit an all time high in March 2012, with 37% of all searches on unbiased.co.uk’s ‘find a mortgage adviser search’, compared to 33% in February 2012 and 31% in March last year.
Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments on the latest insight into consumer search behaviour: “Recent moves by lenders in the mortgage market means consumers are faced with less choice and higher rates. Our consumer search has seen an increase in the number of people searching for remortgage advice, indicating borrowers who are worried about lending criteria getting tighter are now taking the opportunity to ensure they can obtain the best rate before it becomes harder to switch to a better deal.”
Fears were raised last week when the Financial Services Consumer Panel warned that borrowers could find it harder to remortgage once new rules from the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) Mortgage Market Review come into play next year.
Karen Barrett says: “The FSA is moving to clamp down on irresponsible lending but their proposals, published at the end of last year, will affect millions of existing homeowners who are looking to obtain a better rate when their current deal ends.
“New rules will affect the 11.2m households stuck on interest only deals, as well as more than a million borrowers who have been hit by the recent spate of lenders announcing mortgage rate increases. Last week, Co-op became the latest bank to push up mortgage payments joining the Bank of Ireland, Halifax, Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks in raising its standard variable rate.
“This is a further indication that more lenders may follow suit and so it is now more important than ever for people to shop around for a better deal. High loan-to-value deals may be harder to find but we have seen some lenders re-enter the market at the 90% loan-to-value mark. Homeowners should continue to seek guidance from a whole of market mortgage adviser to ensure they are aware of the current deals on the market and how to mitigate any substantial rate rises.
“A mortgage adviser will recommend the best deals available and give a clear overview on how to go about remortgaging. They will also ensure you are aware of the redemption charges and arrangement fees involved in switching your mortgage.”