Re-mortgage enquiries soared in March, accounting for almost four in ten (37%) searches to find professional financial advice, research by unbiased.co.uk has found.
This compares with 33% in February and 31% in March last year.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said the figures indicated that borrowers who are worried about lending criteria are now taking the opportunity to ensure they can obtain the best rate before it becomes harder to switch to a better deal.
Fears were raised last week when the Financial Services Consumer Panel warned that borrowers could find it harder to re-mortgage once new rules from the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) Mortgage Market Review come into play next year.
"The FSA is moving to clamp down on irresponsible lending but their proposals, published at the end of last year, will affect millions of existing home-owners who are looking to obtain a better rate when their current deal ends ," added Ms Barrett.
Last week, The Co-op became the latest bank to push up mortgage payments joining the Bank of Ireland, Halifax, Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks in raising its standard variable rate , with the likelihood that others could soon follow suit.
Consumers are being warned that the new rules and banks restricting interest only lending mean it is more important than ever to shop around for the best mortgage deal.
The data also shows that first time buyers were keen to seek professional advice in March, possibly to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday. Some 37% of searches concentrated in this area of mortgages, while buy-to-let and residential mortgage advice was also highly sought after.
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