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Remortgage decline could signal demise of rate tarts

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed a drop in remortgages.

Data for March shows that remortgaging accounted for 36 per cent or 10.3bn of lending which is 5 per cent less than in February and 10 per cent lower than March 2005.

Despite the fluctuations, the CML says remortgaging remains a significant part of overall mortgage lending.

Last year, remortgaging totalled 117bn out of total annual lending of 288bn.

Purely Mortgages chief executive Mark Chilton believes greater retention activity and higher exit fees that lock people into existing deals is fuelling a decline in the remortgage market.

He says the growth in the secured loan market is not a threat to the remortgage sector despite the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries saying that 66 per cent of its members will be offering second-charge loans in the next 12 months.

In anticipation of the move to second-charge business, the AMI set up sister body the Association of Finance Brokers for intermediaries earlier this month.

Chilton says: “The incentive for remortgaging has reduced as those that often remortgage are the rate tarts but a number of factors are combining to ensure the age of the rate tart that moves from one deal to another is coming to an end.

“Secured loans are not a threat to remortgage market and there are signs of common sense among consumers, who are getting their financial affairs in better order so that they do not require secured loans to such a degree.”

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