Mortgage market activity picked up in March, following a weak February, according to latest mortgage approvals data from the Bank of England.
Households borrowed an extra £4.1 billion secured against property in March, compared to £3.3 billion in the previous month.
The annual growth rate of mortgage lending was 3.3%. It has been around 3% since the beginning of 2016, and remains modest compared to the pre-crisis period.
Mortgage approvals for house purchase, which give an indication of future mortgage lending, fell to 62,300.
Remortgage lending in March was £8.9 billion, up from £8.8 billion in February.
The total number of remortgages in March was 49,713, up from 49,289 in February.
Nick Chadbourne, CEO at LMS, said: “Remortgaging activity remains around the six-month average of £8.8 billion as we see low interest rates continue to attract borrowers to long-term fixes when their current deal expires. As a result many home-owners are also choosing to stay put rather than move in a subdued property market.
“April will likely be a strong month for completions, but new enquiries are expected to tail-off. However, as we move into summer, both are likely to build again, delivering a surge in demand for mortgage brokers, lenders, and conveyancers.
“It’s therefore vital that everyone involved in the application process has the tools they need to deliver a quality service. Even more important, though, is the need for collaboration and understanding between people at various stages of a remortgage.”