Gross remortgage lending rose 12.9 per cent in March compared to February, hitting £2.88bn, but in the year to date the figure is 19.9 per cent lower than in the same period of 2012.
The number of such loans made in the month was down 24.8 per cent on last year at 27,534.
Yet property outsourcing firm LMS, which compiled the figures, said it expects remortgage activity to accelerate during the year, helped by low mortgage rates and cash from the Funding for Lending Scheme trickling through to loans.
“Remortgage repayments as a percentage of income are now at the highest for over three years at 21.2 per cent,” said LMS chief executive Andy Knee.
Borrowers are remortgaging every four years and six months on average, LMS said. This is down from five years and two months in 2012, and edging towards the frequency seen at the peak of the market. In 2008, the average remortgager took out a fresh loan every three years and one month. The average loan to value ratio of remortgages in March was broadly stable at 59 per cent.
London, with its soaring property prices, saw the largest average remortgage value at £221,000. The north east of England had the biggest remortgages by loan to property value.