Remortgaging could be coming back onto mortgage borrowers' agendas, according to new data. The latest mortgage index from John Charcol has revealed that enquiries from borrowers regarding remortgaging jumped by 42% in October compared with the previous month. The broker said that it received 855 new remortgage enquiries last month, up from 600 in September.
"This tells us that people are finally considering their options and are no longer content to simply sit on their lender's standard variable rate," said Drew Wotherspoon, the broker's director of marketing.
"It is certainly encouraging that consumers are keeping on top of their options. With some excellent mortgages now available, it could well be precisely the right time for many to move their mortgage."
If borrowers are thinking about a new mortgage, the big dilemma is what type of mortgage deal to take. The Bank of England base rate has been at a record low of 0.5% since March last year, with mortgage costs hitting new lows as a result. However, with the latest official figures revealing the economy had recently grown by more than expected, there have been suggestions that interest rates could soon start to rise.
"To fix or not to fix is undoubtedly a question being asked up and down the country currently by many mortgage borrowers, as they decide whether rates have reached their nadir and what the future movement of wider interest rates looks like," said Drew Wotherspoon.
"Answering either question is tough, but we think that it is still too early to jump into a fixed rate if a borrower is comfortable playing the waiting game a little longer.
"Of course, what bank rate does is crucial, but equally important is what the market expects bank rate to do. If we stay in a low rate environment for several more years, as many think we will, then moving to a fixed rate now will prove costly in the long run.
"However, should we be taken by surprise and rates move upward sharply, then fixing soon would be a wise move. As ever, it is critical that borrowers seek advice on their own situation - generic advice is not really advice at present. It really is about the individual."
If you're a mortgage borrower struggling to figure out what to do next, a mortgage broker such as Mortgage Solvers will be able to give you a guiding hand. However, if you've already made up your mind over the type of mortgage deal you want, there are a number of excellent mortgages available at present.
Competitive fixed rate mortgages are currently available from Yorkshire Building Society, first direct, Northern Rock and ING Direct. Or if a variable rate is your choice, HSBC, first direct and Woolwich all have some cracking deals.
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