Remortgaging 'strong in January'

January saw remortgaging activity reach record levels as more people decided to find a new financing deal in order to buy a house in Scotland and the rest of the country.

The figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) revealed "exceptionally strong" remortgage approvals.

Such activity made up 49 per cent of all mortgage approvals of people who opted to purchase a home.

David Dooks, director of statistics at the BBA, said the figures showed consumers sought out the best financing options.

He added: "Although house prices and new loans for house purchase appear to be subdued as the housing market slows, the strength of remortgaging would suggest competition for mortgage business and switching remains high."

Commenting on the BBA figures, Simon Rubinsohn, chief executive at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said that people who already own a property have "increasing opportunities" to refinance.

Meanwhile, first-time buyers who want to buy a house in Scotland or elsewhere in the country are likely to struggle.

Mr Rubinsohn said: "It does however throw into sharp relief the claim that a weaker housing market will necessarily be good news for first-time buyers."