Latest data from UK Finance has shown an increase in remortgaging in November 2019. The figures show that there were 18,610 new remortgages with additional borrowing in November 2019, 5.7 per cent more than in the same month in 2018. For these remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in November was £51,470. There were 18,470 new pound-for-pound remortgages (with no additional borrowing) in November 2019, 12.4 per cent fewer than in November 2018.

There were 30,620 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in November 2019, 10.5 per cent fewer than in the same month in 2018. Meanwhile, there were 30,750 homemover mortgages completed in November 2019, 10.6 percent fewer than in the same month a year earlier. This reflects particularly strong home-purchase activity in November 2018.

Commenting on the figures for November,  Richard Pike at Phoebus Software said“It is hardly surprising that the figures for new mortgages are down on 2018 when, as we were only a few months away from the first Brexit deadline, there was flurry of activity.  What the figures do show is that although there appears to have been a lack of confidence to move or buy for the first time, this was not necessarily based on affordability.”

“The fact that remortgages with additional borrowing increased shows that perhaps people were more inclined to make more of what they have rather than move.  Of course, one other factor that has nothing to do with politics or uncertainty is stamp duty.  This is still a major sticking point and one that many will be hoping is tackled by any housing strategy the government comes up with.  Now that the Budget date has been announced we won’t have long to wait to find out.”

Jonathan Sealey, Hope Capital’s CEO, said “Despite the rafts of mortgage deals available towards the end of last year it appears, from the drop in new mortgages and the increase in remortgages, that many people were feeling cautious about moving or buying whilst the country was in a period of political turmoil.”

“Now that we have a stable majority in government and, hopefully, we can see an end to the shenanigans surrounding Brexit we should also see a degree of confidence return.  That’s not to say that I expect a quick return, but perhaps the next few months will see a turnaround.  The problem then will be the age-old one of supply, but perhaps that’s jumping the gun somewhat.  For now, it’s good enough to hope that people are feeling more confident and ready to get on, where they may previously have been waiting in limbo.”