"More people are choosing to improve their current properties – rather than take a potential financial risk of moving."
Economic uncertainty is driving an increase in second charge market as more people improve their current property rather than move, according to figures from Clever Lending.
Its data shows an 8.4% increase in people applying for second charge finance in the first half of 2018, compared to the same time in 2017.
The figures also show more than half (51%) of these second charges were applied for to make home improvements.
Furthermore, UK Finance has reported a 9.2% increase in remortgage applications in August compared to the same period last year. This is reinforced by the ONS reporting in their July House Price Index that the rate of increase in UK house prices is 3.1%, the lowest UK annual rate since August 2013.
Sam Kirtikar, managing director of Clever Lending, said: “With an increase in remortgage applications, slump in the UK housing market and uncertainty around our economy, this could suggest more people are choosing to improve their current properties – rather than take a potential financial risk of moving.
“It could be that Brexit worries are flattening the property market, meaning fewer people are moving and more homeowners are making improvements to their current properties rather than move during a time when it is still unclear how Brexit will affect property prices.
“Growth in the market reinforces the fact there are plenty of opportunities in the current climate for second charges. It’s important to consider seconds as a solution for a refinancing or home improvement enquiry and that brokers are aware of the benefits second charges can offer.”