23 January 2014

Is now the right time to Fix?

Activity remains high in the financial sector.   Halifax has reduced some two year deals by up to 0.2%.  Santander have launched two year tracker rates in the region of 1.79% (40% deposit) and Woolwich (Barclays) has launched products on the Governments Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme, available up to 95% loan to value.  We’ve also heard Richard Sharp, an external member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, suggest that now is a good time to fix in to a long term deal.  Is he right?  Who knows!   There’s no denying that five year fixed rates are incredibly attractive and we have seen some rates start to creep up on these longer term deals.  However, it is personal preference.  If you wanted the certainty of knowing your mortgage payments won’t change for the next sixty months, then they are certainly worth a review!

The New Year has seen a large increase in requests for secured loans. A secured loan is a 2nd, or subsequent charge, designed for homeowners and which allows the equity in their property to be used as security.  Loans are usually between £3.5k and now up to £2.5m!  There are also no 'up-front' fees to find although costs are added to the advance.

We tend to find that many customers looking to remortgage to raise additional funds are already on an attractive rate with their lender. To move away could be costly and they could end up on a much higher interest rate.  Depending on the amount already lent as a mortgage, compared to the value of the property, most lenders will allow a secured loan to be added as additional borrowing, right up to 95% of the property value.

The secured loan is usually repaid over a shorter term than a mortgage, circa 3-7 years, but the term can be longer, although this will increase the amount of interest repaid. Rates vary depending on the customer’s circumstances and current level of borrowings.  Always seek advice.

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