Remortgaging in May was at its highest level since 2008 - but experts predict Brexit woes will hang over the market until aumtumn

Helen Cahill
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The housing markets face uncertainty over the next few months (Source: Getty)

Remortgaging hit £5bn in May, the highest value for May since 2008, according to research released today.

At 32,334, the number of remortgage loans was 31 per cent higher in May than in the same month last year, according to research from Legal Marketing Services (LMS).

The average amount of equity withdrawn was £33,600, up 43 per cent month-on-month, from £23,476 in April. However, monthly gross remortgaging was down 16 per cent from April, which was a bumper month for remortgaging.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: "Remortgaging witnesses its best month of May since 2008, although the numbers are slightly down following a rush to remortgage in April."

Experts says uncertainty and volatility will hang over the market in the coming months, but the longer-term outlook could be very different.

Knee said:

We will have to wait and see what the impact of June's Brexit decision on the housing and mortgage markets will be in the short and medium term. There will be some uncertainty and volatility to cope with as everyone absorbs the news and this is likely to put a dampener on the housing market at least until the autumn.

However, interest rates remain at historically low levels and for those with a mortgage now is a great time to take out a fixed rate and stabilise their financial outgoings.

Chestertons executive director Cory Askew said: "Most of us in residential property are already pretty battle-hardened having gone through the greatest economic crisis in history back in 2008, and we know full well that London's house prices then were pretty much back to where they had been previously within about 18 months.

"The big difference between 2008 and now is that the mortgage credit tap remains fully open and, for as long as those mortgage rates remain at rock bottom – and, dare I say it, they will perhaps go even lower if the Bank of England cuts its base rate in the next few months – then the market will continue to move and buyers will continue to come forward.

"It is understandable perhaps that sellers may take a deep breath before deciding to put their homes on the market, but with renewed interest from overseas investors on the back of a severely weakened pound and continuing appetite from committed buyers at home, demand for well-presented and keenly priced London residential property is unlikely to tail off any time soon."