Hannah-Mercedes Skenfield, mortgage spokesperson at moneysupermarket.com said: "Our figures provide fresh evidence that appetite to buy a house is coming back into the market. Perhaps the public is becoming convinced that prices have stabilised.
"First-time buyers who have saved a deposit and home owners looking to step up the housing ladder may therefore be looking to take advantage of the current low price environment with a view that prices cannot fall any further.
"We have seen a steady decline during 2009 in the number of people looking to remortgage their existing property however August reached a new height where consumers looking to purchase have exceeded those looking to remortgage."
The reduction in remortgage searches may be due in part to home owners, who would have previously looked to remortgage onto a new deal, finding that reverting to the SVR of their current deal is actually more cost-effective in the short term. The risk of this approach is that by not considering the cost implication of an increase in the lenders SVR home owners could actually find themselves worse off when rates increase.
Skenfield added: "However, for those looking to move house or step on the ladder, there are some encouraging signs from lenders, most notably HSBC, which has just broken the 2% rate barrier with its new range of discount mortgages available to all with a big deposit. Although many other lenders have barely recognised the dramatic fall in base rates and have kept their mortgage deals relatively expensive there are some good deals to be had, so consumers should make sure they shop around to get them."
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