Fixed mortgage rates fall to record low - Mortgages - News - Moneyfacts

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Fixed mortgage rates fall to record low

Fixed mortgage rates fall to record low

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 10/08/2011
First Published: 10/08/2011

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Lenders are trying to tempt borrowers onto fixed rate mortgages by continuing to cut the rates payable on their fixed rate deals.

Moneyfacts.co.uk can reveal the average five-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen below 5% for the first time since records began in 1988.

In the last 29 months since bank base rate has been on hold at the historic low of 0.50%, the average five-year fixed mortgage rate has stood as high as 6.24%.

However, with the cost of funding fixed rate mortgages having fallen to an all time low, the average rate currently payable on a five-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped to 4.99%.

The fall means that borrowers opting for the average five-year fixed mortgage today will be paying £117 per month less than someone who secured a deal when rates were at the 6.24% high in September 2009 (based on a £150,000 repayment mortgage).

However, it is not only five-year fixed mortgage rates that continue to fall.

The average two-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen from 5.18% in September 2009 to 4.24% today, while the average three-year fixed rate has fallen from 5.61% to 4.74%.

Michelle Slade, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, said borrowers currently have the choice of some of the lowest fixed mortgage rates ever seen, as lenders try to tempt them off variable rate deals.

With a number of borrowers currently on variable rate deals likely to have absorbed the savings they have made from lower repayments into other monthly expenditure, concern is growing about the ability of some to repay their mortgages when rates finally start to rise.

"For some of these borrowers affordability will become a problem when rates start to go up, so lenders have to make provisions for the possibility that some borrowers may default on their mortgages," added Ms Slade.

"With fixed rate deals the repayments remain the same and if the borrower's circumstances remain unchanged then affordability isn't an issue.

"With a rise in bank base rate looking unlikely in the short term, rates could fall further still.

"But once a bank base rate rise becomes imminent, rates will quickly start to rise.

"If borrowers don't act fast they will miss out on these all time low rates."

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