Borrowers tap homes for Christmas cash

Paula John
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Paula John

Remortgage borrowers withdrew record amounts of equity from their homes in the run up to Christmas, releasing on average £28,200 in December last year.

Research from property services firm LMS revealed December’s equity withdrawals were 35% higher than November and 67% more than the previous year.

Loan-to-values (LTV) edged up slightly from 57% to 60% between November and December and overall gross remortgage lending grew from £3.6bn in November, as reported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, to £3.7bn recorded by LMS. The number of loans grew by 4% to 24,930 in December.

Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, said: “The close of 2014 saw a familiar pattern; that of record amounts of equity being withdrawn through remortgaging to cover costs incurred during the festive period. This year, however, was on an even larger scale than previous years – a sign that economic improvements are struggling to filter through to many households, especially at Christmas.”