Is now the time to get a mortgage?

Slider image

Mortgage rates have fallen significantly in February, with some of the best deals now available below four per cent for loan to value lending of 75 per cent and above.

Over the last year, mortgage rates have dramatically risen causing some anxiety for homeowners and a fair bit of uncertainty around when to get a new mortgage or whether to move home now or to wait longer.

Only a few months ago average rates peaked at around six per cent – and the Bank of England increased the Base Rate 0.5 per cent to 4.0 per cent only days ago!

So, what does all this mean for homeowners and is now the time to secure that new mortgage?

Oliver Peace, managing director of James Leighton Financial Services, explains:

“Loan to value (LTV) is the ratio of what you borrow as a mortgage against how much you pay as a deposit.

“The sharp dip in mortgage rates means that if you have a good deposit of around 25 per cent then you can really benefit from the newly announced rates.

“While these new deals have may come as a bit of a surprise considering the recent increase in interest rates, the “Money Markets” had already priced this rise in.

“In fact, it is widely predicted that product rates will continue to fall as forecasts for the UK and global economies are much more positive. Recent news that we narrowly avoided a recession, and that inflation is expected to come down to normal levels sooner than expected only supports this further.

“What’s more a further drop of rates over the coming weeks is expected by around 0.5 per cent with the best deals starting at around three per cent, which is great news for those looking to move home or re-mortgage.

Slider image

What’s driving these reductions?

Oliver says: “Banks want and need to lend money, and there is a price war being fought under our very noses to meet lending targets. This is great news for homebuyers, not just because it means lower payments but also because lenders are able to lend more.

“Right now, househunters should not be hesitating to reserve. It is more likely, as affordability and rates continue to improve, that demand for new homes will increase forcing prices up again. 2023 is the year that canny buyers should make hay!”

If you’re looking for a mortgage and want to strike while the iron’s hot, here’s an update on some of the best deals available now and improved criteria for borrowing:

  • Coventry Building Society – Now offering a 90 per cent LTV for new build houses
  • Santander – Improvements on how they assess credit card debts in affordability calculations
  • Virgin Money – Now lending at 5.5 times income for higher earners with bigger deposits
  • Nationwide – Helping Hand products relaunched, after several months of not being available, allowing first time buyers to borrow more
  • Nationwide – Housing allowance now accepted
  • Nationwide – Foreign national policy improved
  • Nationwide – Zero hour contract policy improved
  • Metro Bank – Enhanced affordability (up to 5.5 times your income) for higher earners
  • Halifax – Enhanced affordability available for five year fixed rates at 75 per cent LTV or below

What should I do next?

“If you’re a homeowner with a fixed rate coming to an end soon or you want to agree a new house purchase, you should explore your options now.

“The best approach to finding the right product for you is through a broker who will be able to compare costs and look at all the option suited to your individual needs.”

For more mortgage advice, visit James Leighton Financial Services or check out our homebuyer guides on Avant Life here.