Remortgaging is keeping the mortgage market ticking over as lending figures for July slumped again.
Gross mortgage lending for the month was £12.6 billion, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders, speaking for Britain’s top banks and building societies.
The figure was a 1% from June – but 6% down on July 2010, which was also low compared with previous years.
The CML explains the broader trend is house purchase loans are down on earlier months, but remortgaging is up.
“We have also reported a strong pick-up in BTL lending – up by a fifth in Q2 to £3.5 billion – although most of this increase reflected higher remortgage activity,” said the CML’s chief economist Bob Pannell.
“While lending to support house purchase by landlords was its strongest for three years, levels remain very subdued compared with a few years ago and buying by landlords accounts for only about 12% of aggregate market activity.”
Meanwhile, estate agents report a resurgence of buyers looking for homes in July.
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) market report shows agents reported an average 299 home seekers on their books for the month, up from 263 in June – the highest figure since May 2009.
These home hunters are chasing an average 70 properties available per estate agency branch, down from 74 in June.
Summer sales dropped from an average nine to seven per branch.
NAEA president Wendy Evans-Scott said: “It is great to see that interest in property has reached a two year high, especially at a time when, traditionally, estate agents experience a lull in activity as people take a holiday abroad instead of house hunting.
“It seems that people are beginning to reconsider their options when it comes to buying a property. With many sellers now being more realistic about pricing, we hope the market will rejuvenate in the coming months.”