Remortgagors release extra cash ahead of Christmas

  • A third of remortgagors increase the size of their home loan to release cash, of which two in three increased their loan size by more than £10,000
  • More than three-fifths refinance to also take advantage of competitive rates available 

Nearly a third (31%) borrowers who remortgaged in November, did so to increase the size of their loan, according to the latest research by LMS. Of these, two-thirds (66%) increased their loan amount by more than £10,000, potentially to free up funds ahead of the festive season. This is a decrease of 4% from a high of 25% in July.

Home improvements a top priority

Of the 31% who remortgaged to increase the size of their loan, three in five are doing so – at least in part – to fund home improvements (60%). In contrast, just 17% are using the extra cash to pay off other debts.

This was also accompanied by a rise in customers remortgaging for other reasons; for example, the number of customers remortgaging their properties in November in order to access lower interest rates rose to 63%, up from 61% during the previous month.

A third of those who remortgaged did so to reduce their monthly payments by up to £500, also freeing up extra cash by limiting outgoings, broadly the same as last month (34%).

The number of remortgagors that used a broker rose by 2%, to 42% in November. Almost four in five (78%) took advantage of the current competition in the market and switched lenders in November, marginally down from 79% in October.

Andy Knee, Chief Executive of LMS, comments:

“Savvy borrowers are using remortgaging to their advantage, locking in to low rates ahead of the festive period and – in many cases – accessing cash to make home improvements. For some, the additional funds will provide a much-needed cash injection in the run up to Christmas as families feel under rising pressure to spend huge sums of money. However, the market remains a long way short of the pre-recession years and greater customer appetite could see activity levels increase throughout 2016.

“The setting is certainly ripe for remortgaging and record low rates, lender appetite and rising house prices present more affordable options. We therefore suggest families consider all their options ahead of evaluating their finances as part of their financial planning. There is also evidence that borrowers are becoming more confident in making decisions for themselves. While this is good news that more feel financially literate, using a broker can be invaluable in helping to navigate a vast array of products and rates to find the most suitable in the long term.”

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