More remortgages and fewer mortgages were completed in November on a year-on-year basis, UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends data has showed.
There were 30,750 homemover mortgages completed in November, 10.6% fewer than in the same month a year earlier.
This movement reflects particularly strong home-purchase activity in November 2018.
However, there were 18,610 new remortgages with additional borrowing in November 2019, 5.7% more than in the same month in 2018.
Nick Chadbourne, chief executive of conveyancing solutions provider LMS, said: “The continuation of low interest rates and competitive products from lenders ensured 2019 ended with a stable remortgage market.
“LMS data shows the gap between purchases of 5-year fixed rate products and 2-year fixed rate products has been closing steadily in recent months as borrowers take advantage of lower rates in place of longer-term certainty.
“It will be interesting to see if the balance will shifts one way or another moving into Q1 2020.
“All eyes are on the upcoming base rate decision.
“It will be interesting to see how lenders and borrowers react if there is a cut, as has been hinted at by prominent policy makers, given that it has been a while since rates last fell.”
There were 30,620 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in November 2019, down 10.5% year-on-year.
For remortgages, the average additional amount borrowed in November was £51,470.
There were 18,470 new pound-for-pound remortgages, or those with no additional borrowing, in November which is 12.4% fewer than the same time a year earlier.
There were 6,300 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages completed in November, 4.5% fewer than this time last year.
There were 15,000 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 5.1% fewer than the same month in 2018.
John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages, added: “These figures are evidence – if any were needed – of the damaging effect of political uncertainty on the market.
“Completions falling by ten per cent year on year, for first-time buyers and home-movers alike, is a sure sign of people holding off on making big decisions.
“Since these figures were collected, of course, there’s been an election and there’s a much greater sense of direction after what seems like an eternity of drift and delay.
“We’re already seeing a strong start to the year and confidence beginning to return to the market.
“There’s a real sense that people are putting the whole Brexit issue behind them and getting on with their lives.”