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Are cheaper mortgages around the corner?
30 October 2008 @ 14:19

No banks have collapsed for more than a month and interest rates look set to come down next Thursday - so are much-needed cheaper mortgages just around the corner? Sadly not.

A few fixed-rate deals came down in response to the most recent 0.5 point base-rate cut, but trackers - the mortgages of choice during times of falling interest rates - are more expensive than they were this time last year, when the Bank of England base rate was 1.25 percentage points higher than the current rate, of 4.5 per cent.

In October 2007 the average rate on a tracker mortgage stood at 6.23 per cent, compared with 6.27 now, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk, the comparison website. Michelle Slade, one of its analysts, says: “Lenders are just not passing on cuts. [They] are factoring in a much bigger margin for risk than ever before and as a result mortgage rates remain high.”

The last time that the base rate was 4.5percent, borrowers could have obtained a rate of 4.25 per cent on a two-year tracker. Today the best rate on offer is 5.99percent. More than 30per cent of applications for loans worth more than 75percent are being declined by LloydsTSB, often because small details, such as a home phone number, have not been filled out. Such is the paranoia of banks.

Restrictions are becoming harsher still. Cheltenham&Gloucester has introduced a new fee for borrowers who want to move and rent out their homes by converting their mortgage into a buy-to-let loan. The wait for respite continues. Source: times


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