Mortgages

Purchase mortgage activity rebounds as market reopens

Volumes of searches for purchase mortgages are now around 40% of pre-Covid-19 levels.

Rozi Jones
|
15th May 2020
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"We’re seeing higher volumes of mortgage searches, more ESIS documents being prepared and a rise in the total value of mortgage requests."

The volume of searches for purchase mortgages saw a significant rise this week after the government signalled the reopening of the market, data from Twenty7Tec shows.

The volume of searches for purchase mortgages rose by over 8% on Thursday compared to Wednesday. Purchase mortgage searches on Thursday were up 47.54% compared to the same day last week, up 62.49% on the same day two weeks ago and up 93.16% on the same day four weeks ago.

Purchase mortgages normally represent 55-60% of the market. In the week to 14 May, they represented 41.67%, up significantly from recent lows of 24.5%.

Twenty7Tecs's data shows that volumes of searches for purchase mortgages are now around 40% of pre-Covid-19 levels.

Additionally, buy-to-let search volumes are at their highest since late March and are now back to around two thirds of pre-Covid-19 levels.

James Tucker, CEO of Twenty7Tec, said: “In the first full day of trading since Robert Jenrick signalled the opening of the market, the activity levels have risen sharply. Across the board, the daily activity lights have turned green with all data points outperforming the same days last week, two weeks ago and four weeks ago. We’re seeing higher volumes of mortgage searches, more ESIS documents being prepared and a rise in the total value of mortgage requests.

“The volume of searches for purchase mortgages were up over 8% on Thursday compared to Wednesday. The volume of searches for purchase mortgages yesterday were almost twice as high as the same day four weeks ago.

“Meanwhile, remortgage searches have slipped back a little with volumes down a further 5.63% on the prior day. Remortgages now form their smallest proportion of the overall market since the end of March (when purchase volumes were declining rapidly). This part of the market is tightening slightly as one in seven UK mortgages are now on payment holidays.

“Buy to let mortgage search volumes are at their highest since late March. They still have some way to go to match the volumes earlier in the year, but are now back to two thirds of pre-Covid-19 levels.

“The next major statistic on the horizon for the market is reaching parity between the volume of purchase and remortgage searches. We were last at this level on 23 March, the day that the Government announced lockdown. There’s a lot of talk of pent up demand in the housing market and so we’ll continue to report these figures on a daily basis so that our clients can make informed decisions about their businesses.”

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