Remortgage customers increase and rental demand stays strong

Countrywide

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Countrywide's Market Insight for October 2010 

Market Highlights    

                    

 

Oct 10 v Sep 10

3 month trend

Year to date

New rental instructions

1.75%

(12%)

2.55%

New estate agency instructions

(0.4%)

(11.7%)

11.4%

Remortgage applications

8.25%

3%

(15.7%)

Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, the UK's largest property services Group said;

Remortgage activity picked up pace in October, making up 25 percent of all applications and reaching its highest level since March 2009. Consumer confidence has played a key role in this development as a growing number of customers shift from the uncertainty of a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgage to a new raft of competitive remortgages with interest rates lower than the SVR rates being offered by a number of leading high street lenders.

However, our latest indicators suggest that there are still a growing number of customers that are unable to remortgage, which makes our new agreement with MarketGuard timely. This new agreement will enable Countrywide consultants to recommend the rate capping insurance product RateGuard to customers who cannot or do not wish to remortgage. RateGuard will protect the policyholder's monthly mortgage payments from rising interest rates and help the thousands of 'mortgage prisoners' trapped in their current arrangement.

From an estate agency perspective, new sales instructions saw a marginal dip in October indicating that only buyers and sellers that are serious about making a move are doing so. To date, UK house transactions are in a similar place to 2009; however the strong recovery of H2 2009 is in stark contrast to the flat levels that we're seeing currently. 

The market is still active but lending restrictions and general lack of confidence might be holding back those non essential movers which underpin the market's recovery. Serious sellers need to remember that buyers decide what prices are - it is an extremely price sensitive market.  

The latest figures from our network of 1,300 estate agency and lettings branches suggest that while the number of new rental properties entering the market increased for the sixth consecutive month, tenant demand remains strong with over 16,000 new applicants registering for rental accommodation in October. Overall there were 4.5 tenants vying for available rental properties in October, fuelling further concern over tenant demand and rental supply.

Key Facts - October 2010

Mortgages:(based on the activities of the UK's largest mortgage broker with approximately 650 mortgage consultants)

Residential Lettings:(based on the activities of the UK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

Estate agency: (based on the activities of the UK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

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