Remortgage market activity – latest index

LMS, the conveyancing solutions provider, has published its latest weekly update, tracking remortgage market performance through the COVID-19 crisis.

The update includes LMS’ proprietary data on remortgage instructions, completions, cancellations and pipeline activity.

In this update, the ‘final’ week of June refers to 22.06.2020 – 26.06.2020, and the ‘third’ week of June refers to 15.06.2020 – 19.06.2020. All comparisons to the final week of May refer to 25.05.2020 – 29.05.2020.

Remortgage instructions

Instruction volumes dipped slightly in the final week of June, down on the previous week by 8.2%. Despite this, recent performance remains strong with the four-week rolling average falling just 0.8%.

Month on month comparisons show that instruction volumes have increased 9.7% between the end of May and the end of June.

As of close of business on 26th June, instructions stood at the third-highest weekly average level, behind February and March, with the dip in the last week of the month bringing this figure down only slightly.

Remortgage completions

Completion numbers have remained steady for a third week in succession, with volumes 0.5% up for the final week of June, and the four-week rolling average decreasing by just 2%.

LMS expect both volumes and the four-week average to increase next week in line with the usual spike at the start of a month.

Month-on-month performance signals a small drop off in completion volumes, with totals 10.1% down from the final week in May.

This is however what is expected to be seen in June, which is typically slower than the rest of the year for market activity.

Remortgage pipeline

High instruction volumes paired with steadying completion and cancellation levels have once again led to positive pipeline figures, with the month finishing at an increased volume of 10.9% compared to opening volumes.

As was predicted last week, June’s pipeline has ended on the largest number of carried forward cases in 2020, but volumes are down 8.9% from June-end 2019.

Year on year, LMS has seen reduced activity in all areas, with instructions down 12.4%, completions down 25.6% and cancellations rising 32.3% from June 2019.

Remortgage cancellations

Week on week, cancellation volumes have increased by 28.7%.

This has meant the four-week rolling average cancellation volume has risen by 12.3%.

Month on month, the total June cancellation volumes are up 10.7% from May’s volumes.

The overall cancellation rate for June stands at 6.5%, the second highest rate seen for 2020 after January, which was 7.9%.

Nick Chadbourne, CEO of LMS, comments:

“As June comes to a close, we continue to see a landscape defined by stable instruction and completion volumes, paired with fluctuating cancellation numbers.

“Despite the slight reduction of instruction cases we have seen week on week, the rise month on month is a considerably positive statistic.

“June is typically a quieter month for the market and the increasing volumes we are seeing are an indication that we can expect an increasingly healthy market in Q3.

“Cancellations remain the metric with the highest variance, likely due to these volumes being easily affected by availability of products on the market and borrowers’ changing circumstances.

“We expect that the beginning of July will follow similar trends to previous months, with a spike of completions and cancellations as firms clear out older pipeline cases.

“We are optimistic that the further easing of lockdown regulations will begin to be reflected in Q3 data, by revealing a more confident and stable remortgage market.

“July is historically stronger for activity than June, so we hope to see this trend repeated this year.”

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