Natwest raises fixed mortgage rates by up to 0.35% as Barclays and Virgin Money also raise home loan prices
- Mortgage rates have risen rapidly as lenders grapple with rising base rates
- Market expects the Bank of England interest rate to rise further this year
Barclays, Natwest and Virgin Money have become the latest major mortgage lenders to raise interest rates on their fixed loans as market volatility continues to fluctuate.
In a memo to brokers, NatWest announced that it is increasing rates for both new and existing customers by up to 0.35 percent on selected two-year and five-year fixed deals.
Similarly, Virgin Money has said some two-year fixed rates will rise 0.1 percent from 8 p.m. June 29, taking them over 6 percent.
Natwest is the last major mortgage lender to increase its fixed rates
So far, Barclays has not given any details about the price review, saying only that fixed rates are rising.
These announcements are the latest increases in a tumultuous month for home loans that kicked off when higher-than-expected inflation rates in May sent the market into a frenzy.
Lenders raised rates forward again in anticipation of the Bank of England’s decision to raise its base rate by 0.5 percent, bringing it to a 15-year high of 5 percent.
However, market expectations that base rates could rise to 6 percent in the coming year have led to further increases as lenders keep pace with swap rate movements.
Swaps give an indication of where interest rates are likely to be at some point in the future.
The two-year swap rate is currently 5.82 percent and has risen 0.65 percent over the past month and 1.38 percent over the past six months.
Last week, TSB gave less than four hours’ notice for discontinuing a selection of its mortgage products. The fourth time in two weeks.
According to MoneyFacts, the average interest rate on a two-year fixed mortgage with a 40 percent down payment is now 6.10 percent, up from 5.11 percent on June 1.
Before a 10 percent down payment, the average rate for a two-year fix was 5.66 percent on June 1, now it’s 6.36 percent.
How long will rates continue to rise?
Many had hoped that this month’s key interest rate decision would be the last hike in the cycle, but as inflation remains stubbornly high, those hopes are dashed.
This means that mortgage rates are likely to continue to rise in the near term as lenders keep up with the price of borrowing.
Interest rates have risen rapidly over the past month as disappointing inflation data increased the likelihood of further key rate hikes
Lewis Shaw, founder and mortgage expert at Shaw Financial Services, said: ‘Chances are that it will continue at least until the bank’s interest-setting committee meets again in August.
“It may settle down at that point if inflation data moves in the right direction. Although it looks like it will continue if the reports are to be believed in 2024.
“This will hammer mortgage holders in a very big way, especially as so many have to roll off deals below 1 percent and face 6 percent rates.”
Ross McMillan, owner of Glasgow-based Blue Fish Mortgage Solutions added: “With about five weeks until the next base rate decision, it should be hoped that inflation data will finally start to show positive movement and jaded borrowers can get some reprieve .
“However, with optimism about a speedy recovery to happier times waning, it sadly looks like the second half or 2023 will be challenging for individuals and the UK housing market as a whole.”
The number of loans approved for home purchases in May rose slightly from the record low for mortgage purchases in April, despite rising interest rates.
Approvals for remortgages saw an increase from 32,500 to 33,600 in the same period, but these figures do not take into account higher rates in the wake of the Bank of England’s most recent rate hike.
What to do if you need a mortgage
Borrowers who need to find a mortgage because their current fixed-rate contract is about to expire, or because they have agreed on a home purchase, should explore their options as soon as possible.
This is Money’s best mortgage interest calculator powered by L&C that can show you deals that match your mortgage and property value
What if I have to borrow again?
Borrowers should compare rates and speak with a mortgage broker and be prepared to trade to secure a rate.
Anyone with a fixed-rate deal expiring in the next six to nine months should research how much it would cost them to re-mortgage now — and consider getting a new deal.
Most mortgage agreements allow fees to be added to the loan and are not charged until it is closed. By doing this, borrowers can secure a rate without paying expensive arrangement fees.
What if I buy a house?
Those with an agreed home purchase should also aim to secure rates as soon as possible so they know exactly what their monthly payments will be.
Homebuyers should be careful not to overextend themselves and be prepared for the possibility that house prices could fall from their current highs, due to higher mortgage rates limiting people’s borrowing capacity.
Compare mortgage payments
The best way to compare mortgage rates and find the right deal for you is to talk to a good real estate agent.
You can use our best mortgage interest calculator to display deals that match your home value, mortgage size, term and fixed interest needs.
However bear in mind that rates can change quickly so the advice is that if you need a mortgage you should compare rates and then speak to an estate agent as soon as possible so they can help you find the right one mortgage for you.
> Check out the best fixed rate mortgages you can apply for