Introducing our limited edition RDY2GO collection. We’re ready are you? Discover more

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 5%, “Now is the time to act” says Mortgage Advisor, RSC New Homes | Healthy Money Habits

Update as of 28/03/2024:

Santander, HSBC, and Barclays appear to be making moves to lower fixed-rate deals for borrowers, particularly benefiting those with smaller deposits. HSBC's decision to reduce rates on two, three, and five-year deals for borrowers with less than a 10 percent deposit could potentially encourage other lenders to follow suit.

Barclays' decision to cut some of its purchase and remortgage rates by up to 0.25 percentage points further adds to the trend of major UK mortgage lenders reducing rates. This move indicates a concerted effort among lenders to make borrowing more attractive for potential homebuyers and those looking to remortgage. With both Barclays and other major lenders adjusting rates downwards, it could encourage more activity in the mortgage market and potentially benefit a broader range of borrowers.

However, holding off in the hope of much lower rates may not be the best course of action, as it's expected that while rates may eventually reach 3%, this isn't expected to happen anytime soon.

Anthony Harris, independent financial adviser at Continuum, told IFA Magazine: “Having been advising on Mortgages since 1996, the prospect of getting a 5-year fixed rate of 5% or less was always the dream. Since the 2008 Financial Crisis, this actually was less of a dream and far more the norm, though there has always been plenty of argument to say the rates were/have been too low for too long. 

“Looking forwards, we are now back to ‘normal rates’ and although there is scope for rates to eventually fall a little further, personally I do not see them coming down significantly. I believe there is a far greater economic incentive for Bank of England base rates to only fall as low as 2% in the long term, which would mean mortgage rates might come down to 3 – 3.5% long term. However, I do not see that goal being achieved in the next 12-18 months.

“Some of the current 5-year fixed rates at 4.5%-5% are not unreasonable. Assuming this meets client affordability, I am very happy to recommend, due to the stability that they offer. Especially when one also considers any lenders ‘arrangement fee’ which might need to be added, which in turn makes the 2-year rates look far more expensive in real terms.

Original article, accurate as of 19/01/24:

As we enter the new year, positive movements within the mortgage market are giving buyers the reassurance that now is the right time to buy their next home.

Mortgage Rates On The Decline

Almost 50 lenders have now reduced their residential rates since 1st January, this week including four major banks - NatWest, HSBC, TSB and Metro Bank.

Despite a slightly higher rate of inflation announced at 4% (up from 3.9% the previous month), we’re still seeing rates fall below 5% from some of the big lenders in the market. 

One example is Virgin’s 2-year fixed rate (based on a 10% deposit), which was at 6.14% in August 2023, and now sits at 4.87% (as of 19.01.24), which is a reduction of 1.27% in circa 5 months. 

“A reduction of 1.27% in circa 5 months is a significant reduction when you’re talking mortgage payments. If anyone is sitting on the fence about reserving a new home because they’re waiting on further falling rates, I would say now is the time to act,” says Paul Machell, of RSC New Homes.

Fall in Rates With a 5% Deposit

There is also great news for first time buyers or those looking to buy with just 5% deposit, as the fixed rates for these have reduced for the first time since November, by up to 0.35% on a five year fixed rate.

Find out what rates are available to you

Reserve Now, Secure The Best Rate Later

In a fluctuating mortgage market, where many are holding out for even lower rates, the benefit of buying new is clear. When you reserve a new build home and secure a mortgage rate 6 months before you’re due to move, your advisor can work to negotiate a better deal with the same lender if mortgage rates have fallen further since you applied. 

“Reassure customers that now is the time to act. If rates do decrease before completion, we would look at reviewing it and getting them on a lower rate,” assures Paul. 

We also have access to two expert whole of market mortgage advisors, who can find you the most competitive and exclusive deals available to suit you. And when you reserve a Strata home and use one of our recommended mortgage advisors, their service is completely free (typically worth min. £399).

Find a home near you

How To Make Mortgage Payments Manageable

Paul says “In 2023 the market saw a 13% uplift in people taking out a mortgage with a term of 30 years+. We know that this has been down to [previous] rising mortgage rates, which lead to higher mortgage payments. Whilst we have seen rates slowly start to fall over recent months, affordability is still quite tight mainly because of rising living costs and rising property prices.”

Opting to fix a 2 or 5 year mortgage rate now, over a term of 30 years or more, could help to keep current mortgage payments manageable. Your mortgage term can change every time you remortgage at the end of a fixed rate deal. 

When the time comes to remortgage and fix your rate for the next 2 to 5 years, you might find that rates have reduced even further and you can shorten the term and keep repayments around the same amount. Or you may choose to keep the term longer and see the benefit of lower monthly payments; it’s whatever works better for you at the time.

See What Rates Are Available To You

We have partnered with RSC New Homes, one of our recommended independent mortgage advisors, to enable you to find the best mortgage rates from the main lenders in the market, in just 60 seconds.

This free tool is quick and easy to use, offering you tailored results based on your own financial criteria. A soft credit search will be carried out, which does not impact your credit score, but it allows mortgage lenders to offer you a pre-approved decision in principle, in real time.

Use our free Mortgage Calculator