Remortgage instruction volumes up 12.8%

Remortgage instruction volumes grew by 12.8% in the seven days between 13 and 20 April, increasing for the second week in a row, according to new data from Legal Marketing Services (LMS).

The conveyancing solutions provider revealed that weekly instruction figures were now just 15% below the levels recorded immediately before the Government imposed the UK lockdown.
The LMS data also showed that April’s remortgage completion activity had remained consistent, with completions staying at exactly the same level from the week commencing 13 April up to 20 April.

LMS said the completion numbers were in line with the activity it recorded in March, with month-end volumes on track to be just 4% lower than last month, stating that the current activity stands at “86% of the March total with 90% of April gone”.

Nick Chadbourne, CEO of LMS, commented: “Increased instruction levels are a positive sign for the market, with borrower enquiries nearing pre-lockdown numbers. Growth over the last two weeks is even more encouraging, and we hope that this trend continues as we move through spring.

“Fees-assisted remortgages are increasing as a share of remortgage activity, which suggests that brokers are identifying the benefits of these products and are passing them onto their clients. FARs could drive new instructions and overall activity in the coming weeks, as they offer unique advantages for the present situation.”

LMS also stated that its data for pipeline activity remained “steady”, with volumes on track to exceed March. The conveyancing solutions provider suggested if the trend was to continue to the end of the month, it would produce the highest pipeline volume for 2020 so far, and suggested that other indicators “will rise in the near future”.
Furthermore, the data revealed that cancellation levels had increased slightly in the week commencing 20 April, with the overall cancellation rate for April now standing at 6.7%, just 1.3% higher than the level recorded in March.

“Reduced ID requirements, less paperwork for customers, and lower need for searches all combine to overcome current challenges to remortgaging and could reduce the likelihood that transactions are cancelled,” Chadbourne added.

“More encouragement can be taken from consistent completion, pipeline, and cancellation figures. Though pipeline figures are down slightly on last year, they’re in line with recent months, showing that the market has stabilised.”

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