Homeowners remortgaged for an average of £15,000 more in 2016 than they did two years ago, with 57% of remortgage cases due to capital raising.
Research by My Home Move shows that in 2016 homeowners borrowed approximately £181,000, in comparison to 2014's figure of £166,000.
The number of people “capital raising” suggests that homeowners wanted to release equity 'cheaply', either for home improvements, to act as the Bank of Mum and Dad for struggling children or to consolidate debt.
My Home Move analysed more than 10,000 remortgage records between 2014 and 2016, discovering that people from the East Midlands borrowed almost double the amount last year.
What's more, those in the East of England, Home Counties, North West, South East and Wales all saw their debt growing when compared to two years ago.
“This overall increase in borrowing suggests that homeowners are taking advantage of the ‘cheap’ remortgage deals which have been around for the past few years, and thanks to the Bank of England base rate cut in August, will remain so for months to come,” said Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move.
He added: “With such low interest rates, using a mortgage to borrow money can be a smart move.”
My Home Move has witnessed a steady rise in its mortgage activity in the last two years. In addition, high-street bank TSB recently revealed that 31% of homeowners are planning to remortgage this year.
“Our remortgage activity has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and with the threat of a rate increase due to increasing inflation levels, brokers and consumers are alert to “this won’t last forever” sentiment,” Crawford continued. “We have already seen SWAP rates, that govern the price of fixed rate mortgages, increasing over recent weeks and this will drive further activity.”
He concluded: “Whilst we have seen a significant increase in recent weeks in Lenders that will pay procuration fees to Intermediaries for Product Transfers (with the existing lender), this research suggests in many situations it would be right for the consumer and the Intermediary to look beyond the Product Transfer to the remortgage option, to ensure their total costs and requirements are taken into account to find the most suitable product available, which their existing Lender may not offer.”