Remortgages up due to interest rate increase fears

There was a 16% increase in remortgage loans in March according to the Council Of Mortgage Lenders (CML), and it believes that a fear of an iminent increase to the interest rate prompted so many homeowners to switch to a new mortgage deal.

Approximately 33,900 homeowners remortgaged their home in March, a 17% increase over the same month last year. Mortgages for house purchases were down 17% from March 2010, despite being 24% up from last month. There were also 17% less first time buyers granted a mortgage compared to March last year, but there was a 28% increase compared to February of this year, showing that house purchases are slowly on the increase, but have some way to go to reach even last years modest levels.

While the size of the deposit required by first time buyers is thought to have gone down to 21% from 24% last year, it still remains a significant hurdle to most new purchasers entering the property market.

Christine Farrell, the partner in charge of the property department at Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Northern Ireland, commented:

"Low interest rates have kept remortgage levels low for two years now, so even a relatively high percentage increase represents a fairly low amount of homeowners remortgaging their property.

"House sale transaction levels have also a long way to go to reach any kind of numbers that would indicate that the property market in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK is on the road to recovery."

To contact Wilson Nesbitt solicitors at their offices in Belfast or Bangor, for information on remortgaging, purchasing or selling a property, email .

Contact us for legal advice