UK homeowners took out the most remortgages for a decade in October 2018, as low interest rates and potential uncertainty combined.

The total of £9.2 billion over 50,500 new homeowner remortgages was more than 22 per cent higher than in October 2017, according to figures from UK Finance.

“Remortgaging is at a decade-high as borrowers, fuelled by continuing uncertainty around Brexit and the economy, take advantage of cheap rates,” said mortgage broker Jonathan Harris. “With the number of new purchases remaining subdued, lenders are focusing on where the business is and offering competitive deals to those coming off fixed-rate mortgages. This trend is set to continue into 2019,” he believes.

First-time buyer mortgages were also higher than in October 2017: “There has been relatively strong growth in the number of first-time buyers,” said Jackie Bennett, head of mortgages at UK Finance, “with schemes such as Help to Buy providing vital support to those getting a foot on the housing ladder.”

With the Bank of England signalling higher interest rates in prospect, homeowners are rushing to lock in good mortgage deals, with more taking out longer-term fixed rate deals for three or five years. Many lenders are offering such deals at well below 2 per cent interest rates, while some (such as TSB) are offering 10-year deals at just 2.39 per cent.