Is now the best time to switch to a fixed rate mortgage?
With the Bank of England likely to approve a 13th consecutive interest rate rise, mortgage rates look highly likely to increase again. The UK currently has a base interest rate of 4.5%, with this figure expected to rise to 4.75% following a review on the 22nd June.
Another base rate rise will have a big impact on monthly repayments for variable rate mortgages, tracker mortgages and more.
Variable rates climbed in popularity last year, as the gap between fixed and variable rates narrowed, leaving variable mortgages the cheaper option for many people. Is now a good to time to switch your mortgage to a fixed rate to avoid higher costs?
In this section:
- Is a fixed or variable rate mortgage better?
- Should I switch to a fixed rate mortgage?
- Changing from a variable to a fixed rate mortgage
Is a fixed or variable rate mortgage better?
There are several types of mortgage available to aspiring buyers and homeowners looking to remortgage. Which one will be the best choice depends on your own needs and circumstances. It can be helpful to speak to a qualified broker if you’re not sure which type of mortgage will be most suitable for you.
Your main choices are:
A fixed rate mortgage: this tends to be the most popular choice, with the majority of UK buyers opting for a fixed rate deal. A fixed rate can offer financial stability, as the interest paid on your mortgage will not change for a set amount of time.
A variable rate mortgage: the amount of interest you pay for your mortgage can vary month to month. This can be a more flexible option and allows you to benefit if rates drop in the future.
A tracker mortgage: this is a type of variable rate mortgage. The interest rate on these mortgages tracks the Bank of England’s base interest rate, with the interest you pay changing over time.
A discount rate mortgage: this is another type of variable rate mortgage. With this mortgage type, the lender will usually offer a rate that is their variable interest rate minus a set percentage e.g. 2%. This will only be for a set period of time, similar to a fixed rate mortgage.
Should I switch to a fixed rate mortgage?
Currently, the Bank of England base interest rate is 4.5%. This rate has a direct effect on variable rate mortgages as lenders will often increase their variable rates based on this figure.
Economists have predicted this rate could rise as high as 5.5% (a full percentage point higher) by the end of 2023. If this happens, variable rate mortgage holders could be left paying hundreds of pounds more for their mortgages per year.
Fixed rate mortgages can offer financial stability for years to come. You never need to worry that you will be hit with a surprise interest rate hike, as you are tied into a set rate until the end of your fixed rate period.
Here, we have the current lowest interest rates available for fixed rate mortgages in the UK (accurate as of 31/05/2023).
|Mortgage lender||Interest rate (2 year fixed rate)||Interest rate (5 year fixed rate)|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||4.71%||4.36%|
Following last year’s Autumn mini budget, the UK was thrown into economic chaos. This had an immediate effect on mortgage rates, with the lowest fixed rates climbing from 4.06% to 5.69%.
Changing from a variable to a fixed rate mortgage
There are around 1.4million mortgage deals coming to an end in the UK this year. If you are nearing the end of a fixed rate deal, now is the perfect time to consider your options moving forwards.
It is common for lenders to allow you to lock in a new fixed rate deal within the last 3-6 months of your current deal, or they risk you moving to another lender.
The process of switching your mortgage can be far simpler with the help of a fully qualified mortgage expert. Our team have more than 20 years expertise in finding every type of buyer the best mortgages available in the UK. With a specially chosen panel including over 50 of the UK’s top lenders, we can help with:
- First time buyers
- Home movers
- Credit issues
- Self employed
You can speak to one of our specialists for a FREE mortgage review (PLUS expert advice) by calling 0330 118 8188 or CLICK HERE to find out more.