LMS has reported that remortgage instruction volumes began to show signs of steadying in the week commencing 6 April, with a reduction of just 14% in new cases from the previous week, and 18.9% from the week commencing 16 March, when lockdown measures were first announced.
Remortgage completions returned to benchmark levels last week, following a bounce in the first week of the month, reflecting the peak in ERC expiries. LMS says it remains reassured by current activity, as completions in the week commencing 6 April were 22% higher than the week commencing 23 March; a further sign that lenders and conveyancers are acclimatising to the process changes and demands imposed by the lockdown, LMS said
Pipeline activity coming into April was 6% higher than the same point last year, and LMS expects continued growth throughout the month, as normal, before resetting at the start of May.
The conveyancing solutions provider has seen a small increase in cancellations in recent weeks, beginning on 27th March, which is to be expected given the changes in many borrowers’ individual circumstances, as a result of Covid-19.
It added that as the baseline for cancellations in real terms was already very low, the overall increase of 35% still only accounts for less than 1% of all remortgage transactions, so has limited impact on overall market performance.
Nick Chadbourne (pictured), CEO of LMS, said: “There is cause to be optimistic when looking at both yearly comparisons of our key indicators and the upcoming pipeline data. For borrowers looking to remortgage, the industry remains firmly open for business as usual.
“Initial positive signs for instructions from the start of the month have carried through to the middle of April, and ERCs will continue to sustain volumes through to May.
“As process issues continue to be improved, the hard work of parties all across the remortgage journey should see cases return to near normal levels, and pipeline data should get healthier still. More restricted access to redemption statements and extended lender timelines remain factors to be dealt with, but progress is being made and the market keeps moving forwards.
“In a positive sign for remortgaging, combined cancellations and completions ran below instructions at the end of last week. That means the pipeline is beginning to grow and should sustain the market through the coming months.
“As we move further through this crisis, we expect the remortgage market to remain strong and much of the work from lenders and conveyancers to update and digitise their processes will result in stronger businesses and a stronger industry for years to come.”