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Remortgagers dash to raise cash

Almost one third of borrowers who remortgaged in May increased the size of their mortgage to release cash for spending or paying down other debts.

That is despite the threat that future mortgage rate hikes could push up borrowing costs.

One in four increased their loan size by more than £10,000, over 8% above their original mortgage, according to new research from LMS.

It said the figures suggest that households are feeling the pinch and looking for additional ways to free up extra funds or reduce other debts.

There was a drop in customers remortgaging for other reasons.

The number remortgaging in May to access lower interest rates fell to 62%, down from 65% in April.

And while 40% of those remortgaging did so because they were coming to the end of their deal, this was also down from 47% in April.

This suggests more people are remortgaging to take control of their finances.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “There is a general confidence in the stability of current interest rates, which may explain a more relaxed attitude towards paying off a remortgage loan taking on more debt.

"However, we urge caution that borrowers should not become complacent with regard to low interest rates, as news that fewer remortgagors are doing so for access to lower rates suggests that competitive rates may not be as readily accessible as previously.”

Knee said that cash-strapped borrowers are using remortgaging to their advantage. “This new confidence implies they’re starting to find their footing without the help of brokers and intermediaries.

“At a time of regulatory upheaval, and complex affordability checks, brokers can play a vital role in helping borrowers navigate the dreaded mortgage maze to pick the deal that best matches their current circumstances.”


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