Is now the Time to Take out a Fixed Rate Mortgage?
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In our latest blog, we’re looking at whether a fixed rate mortgage is a good option for you to counter rising interest rates.
Interest rates were increased by the Bank of England from a historic low of 0.15 to 0.25% in December 2021, and have risen in increments since then to 0.75% in March, as a counter to rising inflation. So what you might well ask. But in the mortgage market, we’re seeing the heat already, as mortgage interest rates are beginning to rise. So is a fixed-rate mortgage a good option for you?
Over the last few years we’ve all become used to low interest rates. Floating around 0.25% for a period of time has meant that mortgage interest rates have been highly competitive, and monthly mortgage repayments affordable. Even variable rate mortgages, or tracker mortgages have remained a good option as the base rate remained low. And many people have taken out the option of a fixed rate mortgage.
But are we simply overreacting to what is, at first look, a small increase back to where we were before the Covid outbreak hit and the Bank of England took necessary steps to protect the economy?
The short answer is, no.
The way forward with rate rises could be small, incremental rises to slow the spectre of inflation, rather than slamming the brakes on with a large increase that could have a massive impact on the economy at a time when it is already vulnerable.
How can I safeguard my Monthly Mortgage Payments?
First of all, take some professional advice. There are very many ways to secure a good mortgage deal, but rushing to the first good deal with competitive monthly repayments might not necessarily be the best option for you and your family.
A mortgage adviser (such as Liddle Perrett!), can take a look at your mortgage as a whole and make the right recommendations for you. That means considering the mortgage term, monthly payments, fixed rate mortgages, and early repayment charges.
Fixed rate mortgages could be a great option for you now though. Fixing your rate could help you navigate the next few years of uncertainty, and you will know for all of that time exactly what your monthly repayments will be.
You could even consider paying any existing deal off to get onto a longer term fixed rate mortgage, if it works out that the early repayment charges work out less than an increased interest rate over a period of time. This is an area where professional advice can definitely help you make the right decisions for your circumstances.
The mortgage market is being hit by the increase in the base rate of interest, even though it’s only a small increase so far. But as already mentioned, further interest rate rises are expected in the coming months, and lenders will react in turn. This could mean increases in the cost of borrowing through higher mortgage interest rates, and less availability and choice of products for large parts of the market.
In the same way that many deals were lost to first time buyers during 2020 and 2021, products could be withdrawn, and the best deals reserved for a narrower part of the market. People with a large deposit, for example, may not lose as many options as first time buyers. Fixed rate mortgages could be among products that are withdrawn.
Should I consider anything else?
It’s not just mortgage interest rates that are rising. Borrowing across the board is likely to become more expensive, so ask your mortgage broker for some advice on this. It might pay you to consolidate any other debts.
Credit card rates are on the rise, so any balances are probably starting to cost you more money. It could pay you to pay these off through your mortgage, and overpay the balance to reduce the debt more quickly without those high credit card interest rates.
Fixed rate mortgages are one possible option for you to consider, and we would always suggest that you take professional advice on your mortgage options. Our award-winning team is here to provide you with the support and advice that you need to make the decisions that are best for you and your family. We know that making decisions that could affect your home is complex and difficult, so we’ll be with you every step of the way to support you.
Get in touch with us for more information and to arrange an appointment
Liddle Perrett Ltd is an appointed representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network. PRIMIS Mortgage Network is a trading style of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE
Debt consolidation is not always the most suitable option, consolidating debts must be carefully considered. It will usually mean more interest over a longer repayment term and there may also be early repayment penalties on your current mortgage, you should think carefully before securing other debts against your home. There are other ways to manage debt such as free debt advice charities, you can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/debt-advice-locator these services may be more suitable for you.