Remortgage fees and costs

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Remortgage fees and costs UK

Understanding the intricacies of remortgage fees and costs is crucial for homeowners considering a change in their mortgage arrangements. This guide delves deep into the various charges associated with remortgaging in the UK, offering insights into what to expect, potential tax implications, and the role of brokers in the process. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or new to the world of mortgages, getting acquainted with remortgage fees and costs ensures you make well-informed financial decisions.

What fees will I pay when I remortgage?

When you remortgage, several fees and costs can be involved. These costs can vary depending on your mortgage provider, the terms of your existing mortgage, and the property itself. Here’s a breakdown of potential fees you might encounter:

Arrangement/Product Fee: This is the fee for the new mortgage product you’re switching to. It can be added to your mortgage, but doing so means you’ll pay interest on it. This fee can vary from a fixed amount to a percentage of the loan.

Booking/Application Fee: This is a fee charged when you apply for a new mortgage deal. It’s usually non-refundable, even if your mortgage doesn’t go ahead.

Valuation fee: Your new lender may want to assess the value of your property before offering you a mortgage deal. This fee covers the cost of this valuation.

Legal fees: You’ll usually need a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to carry out the legal work when you remortgage. Some lenders offer a “free legal” service, where they’ll appoint a solicitor on your behalf, but you won’t have much control over who they choose.

Exit fee (or Redemption fee): This is a fee your current lender might charge you for paying off your mortgage early. It’s worth checking your existing mortgage terms to see if this applies.

Early repayment charge (ERC): If you’re remortgaging before your current mortgage deal has ended (for instance, during a fixed-rate period), you might have to pay an ERC. This can be a significant sum, typically a percentage of the outstanding mortgage.

Broker fee: If you’re using a mortgage broker to find the best remortgage deal, they may charge you a fee for their service, although some might get a commission from the lender instead.

Higher lending charge: If you’re borrowing a high percentage of your property’s value, the lender might charge this fee to insure themselves against the risk of you defaulting on the loan.

Deeds release fee: Some lenders may charge a fee to release the deeds of your property to your new lender.

Telegraphic transfer fee: This covers the cost of transferring the mortgage money from the new lender to the old one.

Searches: Sometimes, a lender may require local authority searches to ensure there are no potential issues with the property.

When considering remortgaging, it’s crucial to factor in all these fees to determine if remortgaging is financially beneficial for you. In some cases, the costs associated with switching can outweigh the savings from a lower interest rate. It’s advisable to discuss the potential fees with a mortgage adviser or broker to get a clear understanding of your specific situation.

What are the average remortgage fees?

The average total remortgage fees can vary significantly based on the lender, the mortgage product, and other specific circumstances. However, in the UK, total remortgage fees typically range from £1,000 to £3,000 or more. This figure includes arrangement or product fees, valuation fees, legal fees, and potential early repayment charges.

It’s worth noting that some lenders may offer remortgage deals with lower fees or incentives like free valuations or cashback to offset some of these costs. Therefore, the actual amount a borrower might pay can vary considerably based on the specifics of their remortgage deal and their property’s unique situation. Always check with your lender or a mortgage adviser to get a precise estimate for your circumstances.

How much does it cost to remortgage?

The cost of remortgaging varies based on numerous factors, including the chosen lender, the value of the property, the specific terms of the existing mortgage, and the desired mortgage product. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs you might encounter when remortgaging:

    1. Arrangement/product Fee: Depending on the new mortgage deal, this fee can range from £0 to £2,000 or more. Some deals might offer lower interest rates but come with higher arrangement fees.
    2. Booking/application fee: Not all lenders charge this, but when they do, it can be around £100 to £200.
    3. Valuation fee: The cost of a basic valuation can range from £0 (if the lender offers a free valuation) to £500 or more, depending on the property’s value.
    4. Legal fees: The cost for legal work can vary, usually ranging from £500 to £1,500. Some lenders offer free legal services as part of the remortgage deal, but this often means you won’t get to choose the solicitor.
    5. Exit fee (or Redemption Fee): If charged by your current lender for closing your account, it can be around £50 to £300.
    6. Early repayment charge (ERC): If you’re exiting a fixed or discounted deal early, this can be a substantial fee, ranging from 1% to 5% (or more) of the outstanding mortgage amount.
    7. Broker fee: If you’re using a mortgage broker, they might charge a fee which can range from £300 to £1,000 or more, though some might operate based on commission from the lender and won’t charge you directly.
    8. Higher lending charge: This is less common nowadays, but if applied, it can add a percentage cost on the borrowed amount, especially if you’re borrowing a high percentage of your property’s value.
    9. Deeds release fee: Typically around £50 to £100, charged by some lenders to release the property deeds.
    10. Telegraphic transfer fee: Around £25 to £50, covering the cost of transferring the mortgage money from the new lender to the old one.
    11. Searches: If required, local authority searches can cost around £250 to £300.

Adding up all potential costs, the process can range from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds. It’s essential to factor in all these fees to see if remortgaging is the right financial decision for you. Some deals with no or low upfront fees might carry higher interest rates, so you’ll need to consider both the immediate costs and the long-term interest you’ll be paying. Always consult with a mortgage adviser or broker to get an accurate estimate tailored to your specific circumstances.

Which UK banks or lenders offer the lowest remortgage fees?

The UK mortgage market is competitive, and the banks or lenders offering the lowest remortgage fees can change frequently based on market conditions, economic factors, and internal bank policies. Moreover, the “best” or “lowest” fee isn’t the only factor to consider; the interest rate, term, and other features of the mortgage product can significantly impact the overall cost and benefits of remortgaging.

Several major UK banks and building societies were well-regarded for competitive mortgage and remortgage offers. Some of these institutions include:

    • HSBC

    • Nationwide Building Society

    • Santander

    • Barclays

    • Lloyds Bank

    • Virgin Money

    • TSB

    • NatWest

However, smaller lenders and building societies might also offer competitive remortgage deals. Also, digital or online-only banks have been increasingly competitive in recent years.

To get the most updated and tailored information:

    1. Comparison Websites: Use mortgage comparison websites, which regularly update with the latest offers and can provide insights into the current deals with the lowest fees.
    2. Mortgage Brokers: Consider speaking with a mortgage broker, as they have access to a range of deals from multiple lenders, including some exclusive offers not available directly to the public.
    3. Direct Enquiries: Sometimes, it’s beneficial to approach banks or lenders directly, especially if you’re already a customer, as they may offer preferential deals to retain your business.

Will it be cheaper to stay with my current lender?

Staying with your current lender when remortgaging, often termed a “product transfer,” can sometimes be cheaper than switching to a new lender. This is because your existing lender might offer you a deal that doesn’t come with all the standard remortgage fees, such as valuation and legal fees. Also, the process can be faster and less paperwork-intensive, which can further reduce costs.

However, this doesn’t mean that the best deal is always with your current lender. The potential savings from reduced fees might be offset if your lender doesn’t offer the best interest rate. Over the term of the mortgage, a slightly higher interest rate can amount to a significant difference in overall cost.

Therefore, it’s essential to weigh the savings from reduced fees against the potential long-term costs of a higher interest rate. It’s advisable to compare offers from multiple lenders, including your current one, before making a decision. Consulting with a mortgage adviser can also help you assess the total costs and benefits of each option.

Is it always worth remortgaging even if the fees are high?

Whether it’s worth remortgaging when fees are high depends on several factors. High upfront fees might be offset by long-term savings if the new mortgage has a significantly lower interest rate. Over the term of the mortgage, these savings could surpass the initial costs. Conversely, if the interest rate savings are minimal, the high fees might make remortgaging costlier than sticking with the current deal.

To determine if remortgaging is worthwhile, one should calculate the total cost of the new mortgage, including fees, over its expected term and compare it with the costs of the existing mortgage. If long-term savings are significant, it might be worth paying higher fees upfront. Consulting a mortgage adviser can help in making a well-informed decision.

What is a lender arrangement fee?

A lender arrangement fee is a charge imposed by the lender for setting up and administrating a mortgage or remortgage. It’s essentially a product fee for the specific mortgage deal you choose. This fee can either be a fixed amount or a percentage of the loan amount. It can be paid upfront or added to the total mortgage amount, though adding it to the mortgage means you’ll pay interest on it over the loan term.

The arrangement fee is not always reflective of the mortgage product’s quality or suitability; some lower interest rate deals might have higher arrangement fees and vice versa. It’s crucial to consider both the arrangement fee and the interest rate when evaluating the overall cost of a mortgage.

What’s the difference between product fees and arrangement fees in UK remortgages?

In the context of UK remortgages, the terms “product fees” and “arrangement fees” are often used interchangeably. Both refer to the cost charged by the lender for setting up and administering the mortgage or remortgage product. This fee can either be a fixed amount or a percentage of the loan amount. Whether it’s termed a product fee or an arrangement fee, its purpose and function are the same: it’s a fee associated with selecting and initiating a specific mortgage product.

However, when comparing mortgage deals, it’s essential to clarify any distinctions or nuances lenders might have in their fee structures. Some lenders might differentiate between the two in terms of specific costs or features associated with their mortgage products, but in most cases, they represent the same charge.

Do I need a survey to remortgage?

When you remortgage, a full, detailed survey is not typically required. However, the new lender will usually want to conduct a basic valuation of the property to ensure it offers adequate security for the loan. This valuation confirms the property’s market value, which the lender uses to determine the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and, in turn, the terms of the mortgage offer.

There are different levels of property surveys and valuations:

Basic valuation: This is the minimum requirement for most remortgages. It provides the lender with an estimate of the property’s value but does not delve into in-depth structural details. This is often sufficient for remortgaging purposes.

Homebuyer’s report: More detailed than a basic valuation, this report includes an overview of the property’s condition and might identify any immediate issues. However, it’s not as comprehensive as a full structural survey.

Building or structural survey: This is the most detailed type of survey and is generally more applicable for older properties or those where potential structural issues are suspected.
For remortgaging, most people only require the basic valuation. However, if you’re considering significant renovations or if you suspect there might be issues with the property, opting for a more detailed survey can be beneficial, though it’s not typically a requirement for the remortgage itself.

It’s worth noting that while the lender will usually conduct a basic valuation, the cost might be passed on to you unless the lender offers free valuations as part of their remortgage package.

What are the typical legal fees associated with remortgaging?

Legal fees associated with remortgaging cover the costs of the conveyancing process, ensuring all legalities are correctly managed when transferring the mortgage from one product or lender to another. The legal work is typically simpler than when buying or selling a property, but there are still necessary tasks.

Typical legal fees for remortgaging in the UK usually fall within the range of £500 to £1,500. However, these costs can vary based on several factors:

Complexity of the transaction: If there are complexities, such as changing names on the mortgage or dealing with leasehold properties, fees might be higher.

Location: Fees can vary depending on where in the UK you are. For instance, conveyancing fees in London and the South East might be higher than in other regions.

Conveyancer’s structure: Some conveyancers or solicitors might charge a fixed fee, while others might charge on an hourly basis.

Disbursements: These are additional costs that your conveyancer will handle on your behalf. They include items like land registry fees and search fees, if necessary, for the remortgage.

Lender’s legal fees: Sometimes, the new lender might use their solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the remortgage, and you could be required to cover these fees.

Many lenders offer remortgage deals that include “free legal,” where they cover the legal fees as part of the package. In such cases, the lender will appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. While this can be cost-effective, it can also mean you have less control over the process and who is handling it.

As always, it’s a good idea to obtain a full quotation from a solicitor or conveyancer in advance so you’re clear on all the expected costs and any potential additional charges.

What is an early repayment charge?

An early repayment charge (ERC) is a fee that you may have to pay if you repay your mortgage (or a significant portion of it) earlier than the terms specified in your mortgage agreement. This charge is particularly common if you decide to remortgage or pay off a fixed, discounted, or tracker mortgage during an initial deal period.

Lenders implement ERCs as a means to recoup some of the interest they would have received had the mortgage run its full course during the specified deal period. Essentially, it compensates the lender for the premature ending of the mortgage contract.

The amount of an ERC can vary, but it’s typically calculated as a percentage of the outstanding mortgage balance. For example, if an ERC is set at 3% and you have £100,000 remaining on your mortgage, the early repayment charge would be £3,000.

The exact details, including the amount of the ERC and the period during which it applies, will be outlined in the mortgage product’s terms and conditions. As the mortgage progresses, the ERC often reduces, especially in declining tiered systems where the charge might start higher in the first year of a fixed-term deal and then decrease annually.

If you’re considering remortgaging or paying off a portion of your mortgage, it’s crucial to check whether an ERC applies, as this charge can significantly impact the financial benefits of making such a move.

Can I remortgage without paying an Early Repayment Charge (ERC)?

Yes, it’s possible to remortgage without paying an Early Repayment Charge (ERC), but it depends on the circumstances:

End of Initial Deal Period: ERCs typically apply during the initial fixed, tracker, or discounted deal period of a mortgage. Once this period ends and the mortgage reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) or another rate, there’s usually no ERC to pay. Therefore, it’s common for homeowners to consider remortgaging at the end of their initial deal to avoid paying the ERC and potentially secure a better interest rate.

No ERC Mortgages: Some mortgage products do not have an ERC attached. While these can offer flexibility, they might come with a higher interest rate or other fees.

Overpayment Allowance: Most mortgages allow you to overpay a certain percentage of the outstanding balance each year without incurring an ERC. This amount is usually around 10% but can vary by lender and product. While this isn’t a full remortgage, it can help you reduce the mortgage balance without penalty.

ERC Waiver: In rare cases, a lender might waive the ERC, especially if there’s a compelling reason for the remortgage, like financial hardship. However, this is at the lender’s discretion.

Timing: If you’re close to the end of your initial deal period, it might be worth waiting a few months to avoid the ERC. Some homeowners also start the remortgage process a couple of months before their deal ends, ensuring the new mortgage is in place right as the initial period expires.

Product Transfers: If you’re looking to change your mortgage product but want to stay with the same lender, some lenders offer “product transfers” without imposing an ERC.

It’s crucial to check your mortgage’s terms and conditions to understand when and how the ERC applies. If considering a remortgage, always factor in the potential cost of the ERC versus the savings and benefits of the new mortgage deal. Consulting with a mortgage adviser can help you evaluate the best course of action based on your personal and financial situation.

How long does it take to remortgage?

The remortgage process typically takes between 4 to 8 weeks from the initial application to completion. However, the exact duration can vary based on the complexity of the remortgage, the efficiency of the lender, and whether there are any unforeseen issues or delays, such as complications in the property’s legal work or valuation. Being prepared with the necessary documentation and responding promptly to any requests from the lender or conveyancer can help expedite the process. It’s also beneficial to check in regularly with your broker, lender, or conveyancer to keep things moving smoothly.

When is the best time to remortgage?

The best time to remortgage depends on individual circumstances and market conditions, but here are some general considerations:

End of initial deal period: One of the most common times to remortgage is at the end of your current mortgage’s initial deal period. This could be at the end of a fixed, tracker, or discount rate period. Once this period concludes, your mortgage usually reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), which can be higher than other available rates. By remortgaging, you can potentially secure a better deal.

Before interest rate changes: If there are strong indications that the Bank of England’s base rate (or other relevant rates) will rise, it might be beneficial to remortgage to a fixed-rate deal before the increase, locking in a lower rate.

Improved credit score: If your credit score has significantly improved since taking out your original mortgage, you may qualify for more favourable terms and rates, making it a good time to consider remortgaging.

Equity increase: As you pay off your mortgage and if property values rise, the equity in your home increases. When you reach certain equity thresholds (e.g., 80%, 70%, or 60% loan-to-value), better mortgage rates might become available.

Need for additional funds: If you’re considering home improvements or need to consolidate debts, you might think about remortgaging to release equity from your home.

Changes in personal circumstances: Events like a change in income, marital status, or family size can affect your financial needs and priorities, which might prompt a remortgage.

Flexibility or overpayment: If you wish to make overpayments or desire more flexible mortgage features and your current mortgage doesn’t allow for them, remortgaging to a different product or provider might be beneficial.

While these are general considerations, it’s essential to evaluate the costs associated with remortgaging, such as early repayment charges, arrangement fees, and legal fees. It’s often wise to consult a mortgage broker or adviser who can provide tailored advice based on your specific situation and the current state of the mortgage market.

Mortgage broker fees for a remortgage

Mortgage broker fees for a remortgage refer to the charges that a mortgage broker might impose for their services in helping you find and secure a new mortgage deal. The cost can vary widely depending on the broker, the complexity of your financial situation, and the services they provide.

Some brokers might offer their services for free to the customer, receiving their payment through a commission from the lender once the remortgage is completed. This is known as a procuration fee. In such cases, it’s crucial to ensure that the broker’s advice is impartial and not influenced by the commission they might receive from certain lenders.

Other brokers might charge a fixed fee, which could range anywhere from a few hundred to a couple of thousand pounds, depending on the service level. Some might charge a percentage of the mortgage amount, which could typically be around 0.3% to 1%.

It’s essential to clarify any fees upfront and understand what services will be provided in return. Ensure you receive a Key Facts Illustration or equivalent document outlining any charges. This will allow you to assess the value of their service and factor in these costs when considering the overall expense of remortgaging.


Do you pay capital gains tax on a remortgage?

No, you do not pay capital gains tax on a remortgage. Capital gains tax is applied when you sell an asset, like property, and make a profit from the sale. Remortgaging is essentially restructuring or refinancing your existing mortgage debt, not selling the property. Therefore, capital gains tax doesn’t come into play.

Can I get a no-fee remortgage deal?

Yes, many lenders offer no-fee remortgage deals. These products do not come with product or arrangement fees. However, it’s essential to understand that no-fee deals might have a higher interest rate compared to mortgages with fees. When considering a no-fee remortgage, it’s vital to calculate the overall cost over the deal term and not just focus on the absence of upfront fees.

Typically, there are legal processes involved in remortgaging, especially when switching to a new lender, and this incurs legal fees. However, many lenders offer remortgage packages that include “free legal”, where they cover the legal costs using their solicitors. If you prefer to use your solicitor, some lenders might offer a cashback option to offset your legal costs.

Does remortgaging cost money?

Yes, remortgaging can come with several costs. These might include arrangement or product fees, valuation fees, legal fees, and early repayment charges from your current lender if you’re remortgaging before the end of an initial deal period. While there are no-fee remortgage deals and packages that cover some of these costs, it’s crucial to assess the overall cost, including potential higher interest rates, when evaluating the benefits of a remortgage.

Can I add remortgage fees to my mortgage?

Yes, many lenders allow you to add remortgage fees to your mortgage. This means instead of paying the fees upfront, they get added to the total loan amount, which you then repay over the term of the mortgage. However, it’s worth noting that while this can help with short-term cash flow, you will pay interest on these fees over the term of the mortgage, which can increase the overall cost.

Are remortgage fees tax-deductible?

In the UK, if the property is your primary residence, remortgage fees are not tax-deductible. However, if you’re remortgaging a rental property (a buy-to-let property), some costs associated with remortgaging may be considered allowable expenses, which can be deducted from the rental income you report for tax purposes. As tax regulations can change and have nuances, it’s always advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant specific to your situation.

Do brokers charge separate fees for remortgage advice in the UK?

It depends on the broker. Some mortgage brokers offer advice without charging the client directly, earning their income through commissions (procuration fees) paid by the lender when a mortgage completes. Others might charge a fee for their service, either as a fixed amount or as a percentage of the loan amount. Some brokers may offer a combination, providing a no-fee service for standard cases but charging for more complex scenarios. Before using a broker’s services, it’s crucial to clarify their fee structure upfront.

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