Remortgage volumes rise with easing of UK lockdown

Remortgage instruction volumes increased by 8.1% from April to May, new data from Legal Marketing Services (LMS) has revealed.

The conveyancing solutions provider suggested the trend is a result of remortgaging becoming more accessible with the easing of lockdown, as the final week of the month finished with volumes 13.3% higher than in the final week of April.

Month on month, LMS revealed it had seen completion volumes steadily climb to near pre-pandemic levels, and indicated May had finished with completion volumes 15.5% higher than April, and just 10% lower than those in February.
LMS CEO, Nick Chadbourne, commented: “The last two weeks of May have seen a clear uplift in new activity paired with a marked reduction in cancellations. This is likely to have been triggered by the governments’ measures to ease lockdown restrictions, enabling property access and the operation of services to resume.
“Despite improving borrower confidence and signs of market improvement, COVID-19’s effect on the market is still prominent. Year on year monthly comparisons show reduced volumes of transactions and it’s clear the market remains turbulent in line with the wider economic environment.
“However, technological advancements and industry collaboration have supported the market and enabled the range of available products to continue to expand. Borrowers have taken advantage of greater availability, which has had a knock-on effect on reducing the pipeline backlog as instructions continue to increase, cancellations decrease, and completions become more efficient.”

The LMS data showed the overall remortgage pipeline decreased by 4.8% throughout May. Despite instructions, completions, and cancellations all rising from April to May, completions and cancellations increased at rates of 15.5% and 16.8% respectively, while instructions rose at a rate of 8.1%, leading to a decrease in pipeline volumes.
Furthermore, the conveyancing solutions provider revealed that cancellation levels have decreased for the third consecutive week. Overall, the cancellation rate in May 2020 was 7.38%, which is 3% higher than the rate in  same period during May 2019.
Chadbourne continued: “Looking forward to June, the steady pipeline activity we have seen throughout May indicates a gradual return to normality, as instructions and completions rose, while the case backlog continued to clear.

“Fee Assisted Remortgaging (FAR) continues to support borrowers through these times, offering the most efficient and secure service to maintain the climbing completion volumes in line with growing instructions. LMS persists in our objective of bringing together lenders, lawyers and borrowers to support and develop a healthy remortgage market through the crisis.”

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