With rising interest rates looming are you considering this option that could save thousands of pounds?
With house prices rising and an interest rate increase looming on the horizon, is this a good time to consider remortgaging?
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has indicated that it may begin raising interest rates from their record low of 0.5 per cent early next year as Britain’s economic recovery continues to power ahead.
Bank Governor Mark Carney recently said the official cost of borrowing could reach 3 per cent by 2017 – adding £208 a month to a £100,000 mortgage.
Unsurprisingly, the cost of fixed rate mortgages has already begun to creep up in anticipation of a future hike in the Bank Rate.
The average rate for a two-year fixed rate deal is now 3.65 per cent, up from 3.52 per cent in January, which was the lowest rate since Moneyfacts began tracking the data in 2008.
More significantly, two-year swap rates – upon which fixed rate mortgages are based – have nearly doubled during the past year, rising from 0.63 per cent in April 2013 to 1.08 per cent now.
A similar pattern has emerged for five-year fixed rate deals, with average rates rising from 3.92 per cent at the start of the year to 4.04 per cent now, while swaps have risen from 0.99 per cent to 2.06 in the past year.
Adrian Anderson, director of Anderson Harris, said: “Now is still a good time to consider re-mortgaging as long term fixes are still incredibly cheap, but fixed rates have started to increase over the past few weeks and I think will continue to do so.”
Moneyfacts has Clydesdale Bank’s two-year fixed rate deal as its current best buy.
The bank is charging interest of 3.89 per cent for people borrowing up to 90 per cent of their home’s value, with no fee, free legals for remortgage customers and a £500 rebate.
For those with more equity in their home, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society has a two-year deal of 2.04 per cent with a £345 fee for those borrowing up to 65 per cent of their property’s value.
The Post Office is offering a rate of 3.25 per cent fixed for five years, with no fee, to those with a 25 per cent equity stake.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “I think it is a good time to remortgage.
“The likelihood is that rates will start going up over the next 12 months, so if you can lock into a deal that works for you for the next two to three years, you will be likely to be better off.”
His comments follow a significant rise in house prices during the past year, with the average cost of a home in England now standing at £259,745, according to Zoopla.
Mr Sexton added: “People who previously perhaps could not remortgage because the loan to value was too high for the lenders probably can now.
“Other people may be able to remortgage at a lower loan to value, and if they were previously at a threshold, they could find that they can benefit from a better rate.”
But while it is clearly a good time to remortgage, the decision may be less clear cut for people who are on some of the very low tracker rates taken out before the credit crisis struck.
Mr Sexton said: “People have to weigh up whether they want to benefit from these rates for as long as possible, versus having a degree of certainty about mortgage repayments.
“If it is important to have certainty, even if it means moving to a slightly higher rate, it allows you to plan.”
He added that people weighing up whether to take out a lower rate tracker product now or a higher rate fixed rate deal had to make a similar decision.
He said: “The concern I would have is that we have got so used to low interest rates, people may get caught out by rate rises. There are people now with mortgages who have never experienced a rate rise.”
First time buyers can typically afford to buy a property worth £130,000, limiting them currently to a choice of less than 1,500 detached houses for sale in Britain.
Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggests the average loan size for first time buyers is £119,000, based on the national average salary of £26,500.
The calculation behind what properties such buyers can afford is based on them typically borrowing around three times their gross income, and a minimum deposit of 5 per cent.
It follows the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggesting this week that many middle-income families will soon be frozen out of a frenzied property market.
Here are eight houses with an asking price of less than £130,000:
1. Three bedroom detached house in Pontefract for £125,000
2. Two bedroom detached house in Margate for £115,000
3. Three bedroom house in Brimingham for £129,950
4. Three bedroom detached house in Stoke-On-Trent for £125,000
5. Three bedroom detached house in Nottingham for £115,000
Two bedroom detached house in Bungay for £95,000
Two bedroom detached house near Baschurch for £129,995
Three bedroom detached house in Bradford for £115,000
Whether you’re looking for seclusion or something just that bit different a private island should be top of your list.
1. Who wouldn’t want to live on an island in The Bahamas?
Island in The Bahamas, £3.5m – HG Christie Ltd
2. Own your own piece of heaven (The Song Saa Private Island).
2 bed in Cambodia, £5.3m – CB Richard Ellis
3. Best of both worlds – a private island but still not cut off from civilisation.
11 bed in Weybridge, £4m – Curchods
4. The private island may not be the biggest but look at the house that comes with it!
7 bed in NY, USA, £23.5m – Sotheby’s
5. Little Bokeelia Island is over 100 acres of romantic splendor offering majestic tropical living – YES PLEASE!
4 bed in Florida, USA, £14.6m – Mayfair international Realty
6. If you’re interested in an island venture why not consider this magical, secluded paradise retreat.
70 bed in Florida, USA, £19.1m – Coldwell Banker
7. A unique style home for a unique setting.
3 bed in Seychelles, £4.4m – Century 21
8. An exceptional private island situated on the stunning coast line of Argyll in Loch Craignish.
7 bed in Argyll, £4.4m – Knight Frank
9. This untouched private island in The Bahamas offers a fresh start.
Land in The Bahamas, POA – HG Christie
10. Where better to be surrounded by water than a Venetian lagoon.
4 bed in Italy, POA – Venice Sotheby’s
A garage in West London is on the market for £300,000, it has been revealed.
In the latest sign of London’s property boom, the garage is valued at more than the average price of the British home.
Property in the capital has risen on average by almost 10 per cent during the past year or almost £47,000 to more than £533,000.
During the same period, the average British property has risen 5.5 per cent or almost £14,000 to nearly £260,000.
The garage is in the prestigious London area of Kensington and is nestled in a quiet mews moments from Hyde Park.
It occupies only the ground floor, covers a total of 240 square feet and has space for two cars.
Rory Penn, partner of Mayfair estate agency VanHan, said: “Parking spaces in prime central London are without doubt the most unrecognised investment opportunity. Some have risen by 100 per cent in value in just two years and this trend shows no sign of abating.
“For example, secure underground parking spaces in Knightsbridge can cost around the same as a good house in many UK postcodes.
“There is a huge lack of supply and many high-net-worth individuals living in London’s most desirable addresses require parking for their car collections or staff.
“They will often pay any price for this, due to the convenience, making them an incredible mid-term investment if you purchase and flip it on for a profit.”
Garages for sale:
1. End of terrace garage in private cul de sac in Kingston Upon Thames for £23,500
2. Garage set within a secure development on the Battersea riverside for £75,000
3. Garage in a residential road in the heart of Wandsworth for £55,000
Mortgage lending to first-time buyers soared by more than 50 per cent during February as people continued to return to the property market, figures showed today.
A total of £3.1bn was advanced to consumers buying their first home during the month, in line with January’s figure, but a massive 55 per cent higher than in February 2013, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.
There was also a 38 per cent year-on-year increase in lending to homemovers as demand for property remained strong.
Overall, a total of £7.8bn was advanced to both homebuyers and those remortgaging.
This was slightly below the £7.9bn lent in January, but 47 per cent ahead of the total for February 2013, as the recovery in the mortgage market continued.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “We would expect a seasonal lending dip around this time of year.
“However, lending to both first time buyers and home movers bucks this trend, continuing to show momentum.
“The substantial year-on-year growth shows how far the market has moved since the flat period experienced up until around a year ago.”
The typical first time buyer borrowed 3.4 times their gross income during February.
But low mortgage interest rates meant they spent just 19.2 per cent of their income on mortgage repayments, only slightly up on the recent low of 19.1 per cent seen in November 2013.
The typical amount borrowed by those buying their first home fell slightly to £119,000, compared with £119,735 in Janaury, while average incomes were also marginally lower at £35,297, down from £36,408.
But despite strong lending to those buying a property, remortagging activity was more subdued.
A total of 23,800 loans were advanced to those remortgaging, less than half the 48,400 that went to those buying a home.
Remortage loans totaled £3.5bn in February, 17 per cent lower than January’s figure but still 30 per cent up on the same month of 2013.
Buy-to-let lending was also lower than in January, although lending by both volume and value was up on February 2013.
Mr Smee warned that lending may fall when the Mortgage Market Review comes into force at the end of this month, given the magnitude of the changes the industry faced.
But he added: “Overall, we expect to see continuing growth in mortgage borrowing ahead, within responsible lending parameters, as the pent-up demand of the recession years finds an outlet in a stronger market.”
The figures come as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said property sales jumped to a six-year high during the first quarter of the year as buyers continued to return to the market.
But the group warned that the supply of new homes being put up for sale remained low after the predicted ‘spring bounce’ had failed to materialise, with new instructions falling for the third month in a row.
It said the ongoing mis-match between supply and demand would put further upward pressure on prices, with surveyors expecting annual house price inflation to average 6 per cent per annum during the next five years.
But despite rising house prices there are few fears that the property market will be stoked by irresponsible lending practices.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Any fears that borrowers will be tempted to overstretch themselves can be allayed by the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review.
“Processing times for mortgage applications are likely to increase as a more forensic approach to expenditure is adopted but it should result in a more sustainable mortgage market.”