Remortgage market and the potential impact of rising interest rates.

Today’s Conveyancer has obtained information from Land Registry showing the number of applications for whatever purpose (i.e. not just transfers for value) in January 2011.  We use this data to estimate how some of the largest remortgaging firms are doing.
In November 2010, the CML say there were 26,000 remortgages.  The two largest manufacturers of remortgages Enact and Optima between them conducted about 11,000 applications about 40% of the total market.  They have enjoyed a dominant position in the market for some time with the number of mortgages processed but the figures don’t let us see how the panel managers have done in a comparable period.
Other firms like Gordons Property Lawyers, Barnetts and Shulmans seem to be the next largest firms completing about 1800 applications each.  Solex the new business sold out of Salans seems to be holding its position in the market.
The CML stated on Friday that the total number of remortgages completed in 2010 was 313,000 considerably below the 2008 figure of 867,000 transactions.  2010 was certainly a tough year for remortgage firms with many reporting not only low volumes but also significant price competition.
The potential of rising interest rates leave many firms hoping that the increasing numbers of borrowers on standard variable rate mortgages will seek to fix as the price of money rises.  However it’s still unclear as to whether the rush to remortgage will actually happen.   Mortgage banks may not have the capital available to lend or falling house prices may impact on loan to values.
Talking to one building society chief executive last week Today’s Conveyancer was left with the distinct impression that few lenders have the appetite to get back onto the revolving two year fixed rate period turntable that continually encouraged borrowers to churn their mortgages.

Today's Conveyancer