Mortgage applications reach 2012 high
The number of mortgage applications jumped to their highest level this year in May, according to figures from a broker.
The Mortgage Advice Bureau’s national mortgage index found mortgage activity was up 25 per cent last month compared to January this year.
The total number of mortgage applications for the year to date was up 16 per cent on 2011.
The figures, which are drawn from around 500 brokers and 800 estate agents, show the increase was partly driven by a surge in remortgage business, with the amount of remortgage applications 21 per cent higher than this time last year.
Brian Murphy, head of lending at the MAB, said: ‘With average two-year fixed rate mortgages having risen month on month since September 2011 and three and five year fixes also both having risen month on month from December 2011, and with several lenders recently raising their standard variable rates, it is not surprising we have seen an uplift in the number of remortgage borrowers.
‘And with the average loan-to-value of remortgage borrowers reducing significantly during May it appears that a number of borrowers with high levels of equity, who have until now refrained from remortgaging, are now entering the market and taking advantage of what are still – by historic levels – extremely attractive rates.’
The index notes ‘affordability remains good’ with the average annual income as a percentage of purchase price falling from 18.1 per cent at the start of the year to 16.5 per cent in May.