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Given ongoing speculation of further rises to the Bank of England base rate, and the increases in mortgage rates that would most likely accompany them, many borrowers will be looking to fix their mortgage repayments for as long as possible. The longest term currently available is 10 years, which saw a record low average rate of 2.96% at the start of February. Unfortunately, this rate is now starting to go up.
Today, the average 10-year fixed mortgage rate stands at 3.05%, which is up 0.09% from the start of the month. While it's still lower than the average of 3.20% seen last February, it's starting to head in that direction, warns moneyfacts.co.uk finance expert Rachel Springall.
|Average 10-Year Fixed Rate||3.20%||3.23%||2.96%||3.05%|
"Lenders appear to be remaining competitive … to catch the eyes of consumers looking to remortgage or buy a home," she said. "However, it's unavoidable that lenders will have to start pricing in fluctuations in long-term SWAP rates and adjust their range to cope with the changing economy."
That's why anyone looking to remortgage to any kind of lower mortgage rate should act sooner rather than later, with the next base rate rise predicted as early as May. That said, a 10-year fixed mortgage isn't without its dangers, as Rachel explains that anyone who's interested would "need to feel pretty certain that their circumstances won't change and that they will not need to amend their deal, as the redemption charges that apply to most 10-year fixed mortgages can be quite hefty."
If you're not sure how your next 10 years are going to look, you could look for a top five-year fixed mortgage instead, as these tend to offer cheaper rates for still half a decade of repayment security. But with no indication of what rates might look like in five years' time, a decade-long deal would certainly provide peace of mind for longer.
"Whatever borrowers decide to do, they could benefit from working out the true cost of any deal," concluded Rachel. "If possible, they could take the low interest rate environment as an opportunity to overpay on their mortgage to raise the equity in their home and reduce the term of the loan."
See if you can overpay on your current mortgage deal, or have a look at the mortgage Best Buys to see if you could benefit from remortgaging to a deal that offers both a better rate and more payment flexibility.
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