"While the remortgage market goes from strength to strength, more needs to be done to help first-time buyers get a foot on the ladder."
33% of property valuations came from homeowners or landlords remortgaging in June, according to Connells Survey & Valuation.
This growth in remortgage valuations is 7 percentage points above the five year average for June.
Standard remortgaging made up 23% of market activity, while buy-to-let remortgaging accounted for a further 10% of loans. When combined, both types of remortgaging are responsible for more activity in the mortgage market than first-time buyers, buy-to-let or homemovers.
Valuations from first-time buyers declined to 31% of the market in June, 3 percentage points lower than June 2016, but in line with the five-year average.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Remortgaging is now taking a leading role in the mortgage market. Low interest rates on offer are attracting owner-occupiers and landlords eager to offset rising costs. This has led to remortgage activity more than doubling since 2009 as a percentage of the market, with a base rate close to zero for a decade.
“While it now appears unlikely that the Bank of England will raise the base rate in August, the economy remains turbulent. Many owner-occupiers are finding they have less disposable income, so the ability to cut their monthly repayments is proving enticing. The political uncertainty from Brexit and the hung parliament are encouraging consumers to refinance to ensure they are better prepared, should the economy slow down later in the year.
“There has been a slowdown in the first-time buyer segment in June. Rising rents, coupled with limited wage growth may have meant it’s been potentially harder for aspiring homeowners to save for a deposit. While the remortgage market goes from strength to strength, more needs to be done to help first-time buyers get a foot on the ladder."