Mortgage Broker Q&A; is it time to fix your mortgage deal?
Author: Andy Bedford » Publish Date: 18 June 2009
People have been asking me recently whether it is the right time to fix their mortgage deal now that rates are increasing.
It is an interesting question without a very straightforward answer, but here are some things to consider.
If you are on a standard variable rate or will be soon; is it below the current fixed rates?
Many banks haven’t passed on the full rate cut and there are SVR’s out there far higher than current fixed deals; if you have a decent amount of equity in your property.
Currently, fixed rates are available around the 3% mark if you have 25-30% equity. If your current rate is above 3% then it’s well worth considering switching to a fixed deal.
If you don’t have a lot of equity or if you have any significant adverse credit, the picture changes considerably; it may be better to wait until rates are about to jump significantly.
It largely depends on how much more a month you will have to pay to fix it now.
But for those with a low standard variable, the big question is when will the Bank of England Base Rate go up, and by how much?
And while Mervin King announced that it definitely wouldn’t go up this year, it’s worth looking at inflation.
You may have noticed petrol prices rising again, and crude oil has bounced back to $70 a barrel.
This could have a sizeable effect on the Retail Prices & Consumer Prices Index, and importantly on swap rates; if you look at other commodities which filter down to consumer prices such as steel and aluminium many are enjoying a boost at the moment too.
Swap rates drive fixed deals, and many lenders have just increased their fixed rates due to changes in swap rates.
Without a crystal ball, it’s hard to know whether swap rates will continue to rise or if they may even fall again; before the bank base rate changes.
The swap rate increases are likely due to inflation concerns and the anticipated rise in base rate; so they may continue to rise moving forward.
Historically speaking a 3-4% interest rate on a mortgage is still low, so this all points to now being a good time to fix for 2-3 years as long as your circumstances suit.