Home Property Finance & InvestmentMortgages Halifax cuts rates by up to 0.92%, but brokers question timing

Halifax cuts rates by up to 0.92%, but brokers question timing

by LLP Finance Reporter
2nd Jan 24 5:08 pm

Halifax Intermediaries has just announced it has cut rates by up to 0.92% on product transfer and further advance products.

Remortgage products including Large Loans, Affordable Housing – Shared Equity/ Shared Ownership and equivalent Green Home products have also seen rates reduced on 2, 5 and 10-year fixed rates by up to 0.83%.

Other product changes were announced across other Lloyds Marketing Group lenders this morning, such as Scottish Widows and BM Solutions.

Brokers welcomed the news but were sceptical about the timing. According to Imran Hussain, Director at Nottingham-based broker, Harmony Financial Services: “Though this is a positive move, why could they not have done this in December as many borrowers will have now gone onto deals on the 1st of January and could have benefited from savings?”

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Much the same verdict was delivered by Mike Staton, Director at Mansfield-based Staton Mortgages: “This was always on the cards. Halifax’s massive reductions reflect their extremely high rates at the end of 2023. These reductions still do not make Halifax the cheapest lender on the market by some distance. Also, it does feel like a kick in the nether regions to those borrowers who fixed their mortgages recently with Halifax at much higher rates. These falling rates tell me my decision to switch my own mortgage to a tracker with no ERC was the right thing to do. This rate decrease indicates to me that we will see a lot of people pay their ERC this year to come out of the 6%+ rate they fixed earlier in the year. The banks are onto a massive winner with this.”

Meanwhile, Rohit Kohli, Director at Romsey-based The Mortgage Stop, commented: “Several lenders including Halifax were overpriced as the year ended compared to other deals in the market, probably because they did not want a busy end to the year. It’s great to see the predicted reductions kick in so early in the new year but I think this is just the Halifax playing catchup with other lenders. We’ll be watching what happens in the lead-up to the next inflation figures in a couple of weeks and the news on Christmas retail sales as this will likely drive lender decisions as they will provide a better indicator on any potential Bank of England rate decision in February.”

Justin Moy, Managing Director at Chelmsford-based EHF Mortgages, added: “It’s good to see the Halifax improve many of its rates across its remortgage and product transfer ranges. However, this feels like a quick catch-up to be in the middle of the pack. Other lenders have already launched cheaper products, and it will be interesting to see if Halifax will reprice further in the next week or so.”

Simon Bridgland, Director at Canterbury-based broker, Release Freedom, said he is expecting a busy week ahead: “Great to see lenders coming out swinging. I’m sure this will be the start to a manic week.”

James Bull, Director at Huddersfield-based broker, JB Mortgages, said: “It is fantastic to see lower rates finally coming out and let’s hope this kickstarts the flagging housing market as we bed into 2024.”

Imogen Sporle, Head of Property at Finanze, added: “As we suspected, the New Year will bring new opportunities and a new impetus for lenders to take a lead in stimulating business. Regardless of the economic forecasts, lenders need to move money and the only way to do that is to offer competitive rates. It’s good to see this happening so soon and we’ve already seen borrowers lining up their plans for the year ahead.”

Ranald Mitchell, Director at Norwich-based broker, Charwin Private Clients concluded: “An unprecedented rate war is well and truly underway and 2024 will see some seismic moves in rates compared to 2023. With net mortgage lending predicted to be lower than last year, mortgage providers will be pulling out all the stops, not just to acquire new business, but also to protect their existing mortgage customer base.”

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