Posts Tagged ‘Remortgage Deals’

Use The Financial Muscle of a Remortgage To Install That Dream Kitchen You Always Wanted

The kitchen is the perfect place to start if you want to add value to your home.  Indeed, property guru and TV personality Phil Spencer told a national newspaper in 2010 that the kitchen should always be your choice if you are only going to improve one of the rooms in your home.

So in what practical ways can a new kitchen add value to a family home? A new kitchen can give you and your loved ones some extra living space by better managing your storage and making better use of the floor space available. An added benefit of this is the fact that the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms with potential homebuyers. This means that a new kitchen is the one investment most likely to make your property more appealing to prospective buyers.

Consumer watchdog Which? has discovered that the average cost of a new kitchen in the UK is £8,000.  Even low cost kitchens can set you back over a thousand pounds, whilst a designer kitchen including fittings and appliances can easily cost in excess of £30,000.  So, refitting your kitchen can be a costly project.

Few people have the cash to fund a new kitchen and so finding the money needed to undertake the work may be your first step.  Whilst many people consider loans or credit cards to fund the work, a remortgage is one of the most straightforward and cost effective ways to pay for your dream kitchen.

When you remortgage you switch your home loan from one provider to another.  Your existing mortgage is repaid and you take out a brand new mortgage with a different bank or building society.  And, as part of this switching process, you can normally apply to increase the size of your mortgage to cover the cost of the home improvements you wish to undertake.

You do however, need to have sufficient equity in the property in order to borrow the additional funds in order to refurbish your kitchen.  You can usually borrow up to 90% of the value of your property; however you should beware that this may cause the interest rate to be higher.

In addition to having some equity built up in your home, the remortgage is also based on your monthly incomings and outgoings. Lenders are traditionally risk averse and are exceedingly so in the current financial climate so they will have to be convinced that the loan is affordable to you.  Normally this process is straightforward, often if your new mortgage repayments are less than those which you have been paying for several years.

Another key advantage of choosing remortgaging as an option is the fact that you can generally borrow both your main mortgage and the extra finance that you need for your new kitchen on a very competitive rate of interest. Most high street lenders offer extremely competitive fixed and discounted interest rates to entice borrowers into switching banks and in some instances they will also often pay some or all of the additional costs that inevitably rack up in the remortgage process, such as a valuation or the standard legal costs.

It is important to remember however, that when you are remortgaging your home to update the kitchen that you should not overspend on the project and to ensure that the refurbishment is adding enough value to the property for it to be worthwhile. For example, there it would not be sensible to pay for a £30,000 kitchen on a house that is worth £100,000.

Whether you are trying to make your home more attractive to buyers or you are trying to increase its value, a new kitchen can be the perfect answer.  And, a remortgage can be a great way both to obtain the finance that you need and to benefit from a great mortgage deal.

4 Simple Reasons You Should Consider a Remortgage For Your Buy To Let Property

When you own a buy to let property, your property is not just an asset or an investment, it’s a business. And it is of utmost importance to ensure that your business expenses are in order and that you’re not paying over the odds for anything.

One of the biggest expenses as a landlord of a buy to let property will be your mortgage, so it may be worth checking the marketplace to see if a remortgage can save you money on your monthly expenses. What are the reasons for remortgaging your buy to let?

Get a lower interest rate: One of the most popular reasons why landlords remortgage their investment properties is simply to secure a better interest rate on their borrowing.  If your original buy to let deal has ended you could switch to a preferential rate with another provider rather than remaining on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

Lenders often offer excellent incentives and deals to encourage you to remortgage.  For example, you may be able to benefit from a discounted or tracker rate or perhaps you could fix your repayments for a number of years?  And, by reducing the interest rate that you pay it will help you reduce your outgoings and generate more net rental income.

Release equity from your properties: Remortgaging also allows you to release equity that may be tied up in your investment property.  Depending on the rental income and the amount of equity you have in your property you may be able to raise a cash lump sum when you remortgage.  As long as the repayments remain affordable and you fir a lender’s loan to value (LTV) criteria you can often raise capital through a remortgage.

Remortgaging and releasing equity from your property can allow you to raise capital to purchase further investment properties. Your existing property becomes the security for cash to use as the deposits for additional purchases. This allows you to build up your property portfolio, increasing your rental returns and spreading your risk.

Convert the mortgage to a repayment basis: It is quite possible that you took out your buy to let mortgages on an ‘interest only’ basis rather than on a capital and interest (repayment) basis.  Many mortgages have been arranged on this basis in order to keep the monthly repayments as low as possible.

Remortgaging allows you to make changes to your home loan arrangements such as converting the mortgage from an interest only basis to a capital and interest (repayment) basis.  This will ensure that the balance of your mortgage decreases over time and so you will ultimately own the property outright at the end of the term.  Bear in mind that this will increase your monthly repayment.

Avoid selling the property: A remortgage can also help you avoid selling your property if you are in need of some extra cash.  If you need access to some of the equity in your buy to let property – for example to buy another property or for home improvements – a remortgage will help you access cash without the need to sell the asset.

If you decide to sell your property you will have Capital Gains Tax to pay. Either that or you might have to sell in during a market downturn. A better option would be to remortgage your buy to let property; this can help you raise the funds you need without being forced to offload property that may be your key to future prosperity.

It’s a Buyer’s Market at Present, And It Will Be For Quite Some Time.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has recently issued a report stating that sellers are returning to the property marketplace, though it tempers this optimism with news that the overall picture remains “subdued”. A growth in the supply of properties for sale in April has probably increased the downward motion of house prices, and suggests supply is outstripping demand.

The number of buyers viewing property has also increased – helped in part by some excellent weather at Easter – but continued problems in obtaining mortgage finance is hampering many potential purchasers. Unless buyers have a good sized deposit, it is tough to obtain the mortgage they need to buy property.

A Housing Spokesperson from the RICC recently stated that the increase in houses on the market is positive news for potential buyers, although there still does not seem to be much going on in the way of buying and selling, and he doesn’t expect this to change any time soon.

Indeed, the majority of Brits don’t expect property prices to rise over the next year.  A recent survey from the property company Rightmove found that 68 per cent of people think house prices will be broadly the same or higher than they are now in twelve month’s time.

This optimism of property prices is welcome and extremely exciting news after several years of dropping property values, inability to obtain finance and houses sat on the market for months and months without any interest or hope of a sale.

It is vital to bear in mind that those buyers who have the capability to place a larger deposit, typically one of more than 10%, are likely to get access to a better mortgage rate. Others might find it hard to access finance in the current wintery economic climate.

Those who manage to secure the necessary funding to buy new properties or to move up the property ladder should consider a remortgage. As the cost of borrowing is still at an all-time low, those who are approaching the end of their fixed term mortgage deal might benefit from accessing reduced monthly instalments. They can do this by checking remortgage deals, and finding a new mortgage with a rate. Monthly savings could be set aside to finance a deposit with which to buy more expensive property at a later date.

People who have been unable to finance a brand new property may still have the option of remortgaging their current home, either to raise capital to upgrade the existing property, or to simply obtain a cheaper deal which can help with monthly outgoings. Obtaining a further advance remortgage may also allow you to secure your debts against your home, as mortgage interest rates are generally much lower than those on unsecured debts.

By obtaining a remortgage, you can lower your monthly repayments while you wait out the storm, and then perhaps look to sell again in the future when your property value has recovered and you can get a more attractive price.

Most market experts agree that property prices are all likely to increase in the coming years, so it may be worth the wait to get a little more of a return on your investment.

Equity Release Is Your Best Available Option For Funding Extensive Home Improvements

Since the credit crunch it has become more and more difficult to obtain mortgage finance. The days of 100 per cent plus mortgages are gone for good and it’s even difficult to obtain a simple remortgage to fund home improvements.

Before the economic crash, this was the way the majority of people would make those long overdue home improvements or luxury holidays, it was simple enough, you’ve paid for your house, now let it pay for you.  In the tough times of 2011, such mortgages are rarer than Faberge eggs.

One way that people approaching retirement can raise cash is to consider a lifetime mortgage, or ‘equity release’ scheme. These schemes allow you to withdraw some of the equity in your home in order to fund home improvements or to pay for larger one off purchases such as a new car.

In return for a share of the proceeds from the eventual sale of your home (normally after your death) a lender will advance part of your home’s value.  The cash ordinarily comes in either a lump sum or as a monthly payment.  It means that you can remain in your home but still benefit from the equity you have built up, although these remortgage deals are typically only available to applicants aged 60 or over.

If you have an equity release mortgage, there are remortgage deals available for equity release, whereby you swap your existing mortgage deal for another, often to obtain a lower rate of interest. By remortgaging, you can also often release additional funds, as maximum lending values are based on age, so if it’s been 10 years since you took your equity release mortgage, chances are you’re now entitles to release further equity.

When you retire, jobs around the house may suddenly be more pressing. You may have been delaying home improvements whilst you were working but now have time to undertake all those repairs and other jobs.

Your property could be improved by simple jobs such as new windows and doors or new guttering or drainpipes.  Home improvements do not always have to be significant or require structural alterations.

For example, simply repainting your home into a more neutral colour or replacing your curtains and carpets can make it more attractive. Having your garden professionally landscaped can create a lovely outdoor area which may also appeal to prospective buyers.

Many people who discover themselves in the predicament described above consider equity release for home improvements in these circumstances – remortgage rates vary. Accessing equity release allows the homeowner to have the works they require completed out by professionals. The equity release will enable the retired homeowner to have no monthly repayments to worry about. This means it is not a drain on the diminished income that the homeowner will now have during retirement.

Seeking specialist advice is recommended before agreeing to any equity release scheme. A financial advisor can outline the various options available to you and they may also be able to establish whether there is any council or government funding available for essential repairs or redecoration required in your home.

If You Want To Add Value To Your Home, Then a Remortgage is Your Best Option

Over the last few years it has become more and more difficult to secure remortgage finance.  Falling house prices coupled with lenders’ increasing reluctance to lend has made it tough to switch home loans.  However, many people who have been able to remortgage have been able to take advantage of the ability to borrow extra cash to undertake improvements on their homes.

You can take out a remortgage with a new lender or remain with your existing one, and with a wide range of remortgage deals available, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You are able to fix your interest rate, obtain a discount or even take payment holidays and make overpayments depending on the type of remortgage product that you obtain.

As lenders continue to loosen their lending criteria, remortgage rates have improved. However, with some many deals in the market it is wise to seek professional advice if you’re looking to remortgage. A qualified mortgage broker can scour the market to find the best deals for you as well as advising you on what sort of remortgage will be the most appropriate. With products and lending criteria changing daily, a broker can help you keep on top of the mortgage market.

For example, if you’re looking specifically for an ‘equity release’ product, the remortgage rates can vary significantly.  Aviva offers a flexible option at 7.14 per cent with an inheritance guarantee and a fixed rate at 7.84 per cent with a lump sum.

There are various projects that can be done to add value to the property, such as updating the kitchen, adding a conservatory or converting the attic into a new bedroom. If you build an extension, this adds significant value to the property as you can potentially add more bedrooms, and even extend the size of your kitchen to make it more ‘family friendly’.

By making improvements to your property it makes it more attractive to potential buyers as they do not have to spend time and money on undertaking this work themselves.  And, of course, it makes your home a nicer place to live in whilst you are selling.

You can also make your home more attractive by simple internal redecoration.  New furnishings and curtains can improve the look of your home whilst repainting in a neutral colour can enhance the natural light and make the property look cleaner and more modern.

All homeowners must get their property professionally valued to access a remortgage deal and they must complete a loan application form. The costs of accessing a remortgage vary, depending on lenders chosen and the type of product applied for, however it is generally considered to be cheaper than taking out a first time mortgage.

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, then depending on the type of property that you own, Energy Efficiency and Housing Renovation funding may be available.  You can consult a specialist in these areas to determine whether cash can be made available to you for such work.

With lenders having become stricter about who they lend to since the global financial crisis, remortgaging is not as easy as it used to be.  Whilst there are great remortgage deals in the market, examining other options may also be worthwhile.  For example, you could consider approaching your existing lender for a ‘further advance’ to undertake your home improvements. Or, you could also consider a ‘secured loan’ (sometimes called a ‘second mortgage’) although the interest rates applied to these loans tend to be higher than traditional mortgages.

Renovation and Reinvesting are the Name of the Game. It Makes More Financial Sense Than Moving at Present

The property market in the UK continues to struggle with a lack of mortgage finance, a shortage of buyers and prices continuing to fall.  So, it’s no surprise that many homeowners have scrapped plans to move and have instead remortgaged in order to improve their properties.  If you have space for a conservatory or extension or if you have an unused garage or loft that you could convert then you could add significant value to your home.  And, a remortgage can be the perfect way of raising the cash you need to complete the work.

A Lack of Active Buyers: Maybe you are finding it difficult to locate a prospective buyer for your home.  If one of the principal reasons for you deciding to sell was to add more space, perhaps because your family has grown, then renovating with a remortgage could be a viable option for you.  Enlarging your family’s property could give you the space for a bigger kitchen, a new dining room or an extra bedroom, and eliminate the need for a move in the first place.

Jason Orme, editor of Home Building and Renovating Magazine, believes that there could be ‘in the region of 100,000 to 200,000 projects undertaken each year’ as more and more Brits decide to stay put and refurbish or renovate their homes.

Each project is different, so timescales and budget vary enormously, and factors  affecting price might include the location and condition of the property, or the actual type of property you live in, as well as the specific type of renovation you are hoping to undertake.

For example, a single story extension to your home would take around 12 weeks to complete, and you can expect to add another 3-5 weeks to the build time if the extension is to be on two storeys.

Why Reinvest? Trying to sell your property can be tough.  There is a shortage of buyers in the market with many people concerned about job security and a lack of mortgage finance.  First time buyers are struggling to raise the deposit they need to get onto the property ladder and prices are still falling across the country.  So, for many people their only choice is to stay in their home.

The equity in your property need not sit there locked up and untouched. By accessing this equity, you can improve upon your home to increase your standard of living, as well as adding value which is an investment in your future as the property can be sold for a higher amount in the years to come.

Value is added generally by increasing the size of the property, adding rooms, converting unused space and generally improving on the property so that it is bigger, better and more beautiful than it was before. Of course, a well kept and fresh home will attract more buyers in the future.

Extension projects can be cheap, non-disruptive or fast, but are rarely all three, Orme said, adding that it was difficult to save lots of money by doing a job quickly build  because it usually means employing more workmen, at a higher cost. Likewise a build which keeps everything clean and stress free will also be more expensive.

The benefit of a fixed rate mortgage is that the interest rate remains at a fixed level for the entire life of the deal and so monthly repayments remain the consistent. This is a clear incentive for those borrowing to change to a product where they can plan repayments with a degree of predictability in these turbulent economic times.

What Is The Difference Between A Secured Loan And A Remortgage?

When it comes to making a decision on whether to opt for a secured loan or remortgage, a lot of confusion is thrown up about what the differences are. Not only that, but questions such as which is more beneficial? Is one option more suited to my needs? And a whole host of other questions many feel they don’t have the answer to, the easy answer is that remortgaging costs less (especially if you get the best remortgage deals) as secured loans will have high interest charges.

Additionally, the latter take a second charge on your property so you must meet all the repayment terms to avoid the repossession of your home. Although, remortgaging sometimes isn’t a viable option for homeowners as the terms of their original mortgage haven’t yet expired. Therefore, in order to avoid early switch charges, a secured loan may be a sensible option. To establish which option is the best option for you though, it would be most beneficial to look at each option individually.

So let’s break all this down a little bit, beginning with remortgages. With the current unfavourable conditions within the property market, a maximum 90 per cent Loan to value (LTV) is required for most remortgages. This means that affordability is a key factor. To understand this a little more, let’s have a look at an example. Say you wanted to borrow £130k to help with the purchase of a £150k property; your LTV would be 87%. This is calculated by dividing the total loan amount by the total property price (if your result is in the negative, then it is unlikely you will be granted the loan).

The major plus point of remortgaging is the fact there is no ceiling on how much you can borrow. Remortgaging just doesn’t have to be about paying debt off or consolidating, it can be used to refurbish your property or build an extension, loft conversion, conservatory or any other improvements or repairs your house needs. Almost all lenders now include early redemption charge’s (ERC’s) in mortgage agreements and contracts as a protection against lost earnings if one of their borrowers remortgages with them or a rival lender.

Other advantages of remortgaging your home include the competitive remortgage deals that lenders offer. Many remortgage plans come with free or discounted valuation and/or legal fees which can save you a lot of money and paperwork in the long term. However, always be wary of these deals and read the small print to ensure you are getting the best possible deal.

As for secured loans, they carry much fewer charges, usually only having only a broker OR lender arrangement fee. This means there is minimal paperwork and so the application process is much quicker, some taking just 10 days to fully process. This is a fantastic option if you are in desperate need of some quick funds. Similarly, secured loans tend to have much lower interest charges than other forms of loans such as credit cards and unsecured loans, which make them a much more affordable option.

However, secured loans have restrictions on how much a homeowner can borrow, usually between £25,000 and £100,000. The main downside of obtaining a secured loan is considered to be the fact that the repayments run alongside the existing mortgage and are not normally wrapped up within the same payment. This also means that usually the secured loan is obtained through a different lender to the mortgage. However you also need a lower LTV in order to get a secured loan, usually around 65%.

Nonetheless, there are a few similarities between remortgages and secured Loans. For example, both involve borrowing money over a longer period of time, usually between 5 and 25 years and both are secured on property so there is an equal risk of property repossession if repayment terms are not correctly met. Therefore, both require you to earn enough money to repay the loans and both need enough positive equity in the property to fit with the lenders criteria.

Lastly, remortgages are offered at a much lower rate than a secured loan so are considered a safer and more affordable form of finance than, say, unsecured loans.

As with all financial matters, talking to a professional financial expert should be your priority as a port of call for advice on any decisions you’re considering. Speaking to an independent advisor instead of one on a bank or building society ensures you are getting fair and unbiased advice on all your options, and probably the best remortgage deals.

Remortgage and Save By Bringing Your Monthly Goings Down With a Better Interest Rate

A remortgage can help you to save money. A remortgage is when you change your mortgage to a new mortgage product, often onto a better deal that will put you in a better financial position. People are attracted to them because they can often also borrow additional funds.

Some people remortgage simply to get a lower rate of interest, while others want to raise additional funds for home improvements or to buy another property. Perhaps if your circumstances have changed and your earnings have increased or decreased, you may be able to find a different mortgage contract that is more suited to your new lifestyle.

One of the great things about a remortgage is that by lowering your interest rate, you will generally also be lowering your monthly outgoings, so it can save a lot of money in the short and long term. But in order to get a good deal, you’ll need to research the market to fish out the most competitive deals.

There are hundreds of remortgage deals available with dozens of lenders and so finding the right rate can be tough.  Seeking professional advice can help you find the right deal, and a financial advisor or mortgage broker can also explain the various costs involved in the remortgage process.  These may include valuation fees, arrangement fees and conveyancing charges.

You should always approach your existing mortgage provider first, to see what remortgage deals they can offer to you. This will give you a point of reference when comparing to other lenders. As your lender will want to keep your mortgage with them, they may be able to offer you special rates to keep you with them.

This may be the case, for example, if you need a mortgage for more than 75 per cent of the value of your home.  The rates on these deals tend to be higher than other products and so you may find it hard to improve on your current deal in this situation. However, the situation is improving, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported that remortgage approvals in February 2011 were the highest for over two years.

For instance, there are only a few remortgage deals out there right now for people who want to  take on higher risk and borrow more than 75% of their homes value. If this applies to you, you might have to accept that it might be harder to improve your current deal; you may even wish to modify your plans. The remortgage market is gradually improving however; according to a recent report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It showed that remortgage approvals in February 2011 were the highest for more than two years.

Many people prefer to arrange their mortgage on a repayment basis as this ensures that the loan is repaid in full over the mortgage term. If this is your preferred option, you can then begin to research the best remortgage rates in the market. Deals change regularly and so using a mortgage broker can help you keep track of all the best rates.

You should always look at the total cost of the mortgage, which can easily be compared using the mortgage quotes that you are given. Of course, mortgage brokers again can compare this is seconds using software. This is important because high product fees and other costs can actually make a product with a lower interest rate more expensive in the long run.

Don’t forget to look at the whole cost of the remortgaging package, not just the interest rate, as this can make the difference as to whether it is viable to go through the process or not. Finally, watch out for fluctuations in the market that occur at regular intervals. Deals change quickly, so the top deal you get today may be bottom of the pile in six months.

With the Base Rate Lying Dormant, People are Rushing to Remortgage Before the Rate Rise in 2012

Since the financial crisis in the UK, the Bank of England base rate has remained at its all time low of just half a percent.  However earlier in 2011, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England confirmed that although they had voted against an increase at the time, an increase later in 2011 was inevitable. The Governor spoke out and said that it was impossible for rates to stay so low if we are to see the economy of our country recover.

The Bank of England’s decision to leave rates well alone in the first quarter of the year were down to figures showing that the recovery of the UK financial markets was sluggish and the increase would have slowed it further.

How Does This Affect Homeowners? People who own their own property and are currently on a rate that tracks the Bank of England base rate may be concerned at news of a potential increase. These mortgages are designed to increase or decrease in line with movements in the base rate.

A hike in interest rates will affect millions of variable rate borrowers.  It is also likely to come as a shock to people who have enjoyed the benefit of low mortgage repayments over the last couple of years.

For instance, if the Bank of England increased the rate of interest by merely 0.5% to 1%, it would be liable to inflate monthly repayments by approximately £43 on an standard £150,000 tracker mortgage. In these wintery economic times, with inflation skyrocketing, this additional £516 a year would be likely to cause a lot of financial pain.

Far from being a matter likely just to affect a small section of homeowners; the rise in rates could have far reaching consequences. It is believed that nearly two thirds of borrowers have tracker rate mortgages.  It is thought that a growing number of these borrowers are beginning to look for alternate remortgage deals.

Figures Show Many Now Remortgaging to Hedge Against Interest Rate Hikes: An organisation called the Council of Mortgage Lenders, who represent almost all mortgage lenders in Britain confirmed that remortgage figures had increased by almost a fifth in the first quarter of this year following the announcements by the Bank of England.

A statement issued by the CML said: “The huge rise in remortgage activity is likely to be linked to the expectations of an increase in interest rates.”  The figures are also up on the same period last year.

Fixed rates have been particularly popular with homeowners looking to remortgage.  With an estimated eight million households at risk from increased mortgage payments, borrowers have been turning to fixed rate remortgage deals to protect themselves against interest rate hikes.

Fixed rate contracts have a set interest rate for an initial period, and during this time, the monthly repayments will remain level and not increase regardless of what the Bank of England base rate is doing. Of course this offers financial security as borrowers will know exactly how much to budget every month.

Northern Rock Have a Plan of Action For Boosting the Remortgage Market

Northern Rock, a financial organisation and mortgage lender in the UK, are planning to change their remortgage contracts. This news comes after a government policy was announced that is being designed to increase lending for commercial property purposes in the UK. Those with commercial mortgages will now be able to remain with NR, while the lender at the same time will be continuing on with state loan repayments.

The lender has made changes to their remortgage contracts in recent weeks. This is in an attempt to reduce the amount of new mortgages on their books, and this will now be done at a slower rate than they had previously stated.

This new move by Northern Rock will see an increase in the amount of remortgage funding it is lending out, but with less ‘new’ contracts which they hope will help the UK economy to grow at a more stable rate.

One of the most fundamental features of this change of course will involve Northern Rock being less harsh in their approach to present customers who have fixed remortgage rates. It is these customers who would have normally been offered incentives to switch their provider. The move is partially down to the European Union’s planned goal of meeting state aid rules.

The hope is that this new plans will help the recovery of the mortgage markets, and the lender has stated that the repayment of state money was its most important goal for the foreseeable future.

The lender states that this has been a positive strategy, which has enabled it to comfortably stick to agreed goals for paying back government bailout cash ahead of the originally agreed deadlines.

Northern Rock has recognised the degree of public anger since its 2008 bailout and has tried to demonstrate some degree of social and political conscience. The strategy, which supports both its customers and the wider economy, is designed to reflect this.  It will mean slower repayments of bailout loans though the Building Society says it is still on track to meet its obligations, even with this new strategy.

A spokesperson from NR stated that they have seen a significant drop in mortgage redemptions, which allows for a more healthy income which may help them to increase their government loan repayments in the future. They also confirmed that the new remortgage strategy did not affect other areas of Northern Rock.

Whilst the change of strategy should benefit the UK lending market, Northern Rock were quick to point out that they will continue to meet targets for repaying government loans. This is in a market where remortgaging has reached the lowest level for ten years, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders reporting consecutive monthly declines in remortgage approvals of up to 20 per cent.

The decision by Northern Rock to retain more of their borrowers will come as a blow to mortgage brokers who were already facing a slow market. With fewer Northern Rock borrowers to advise, remortgage numbers may be set to fall again.  With lenders still reluctant to lend and many people paying record low rates on their mortgages, it seems unlikely that there will be a sudden increase in demand for remortgages in the near future.