Home Property Finance & InvestmentMortgages UK’s largest mortgage lender to pile ‘on misery’ in yet another ‘bitter blow to borrowers’

UK’s largest mortgage lender to pile ‘on misery’ in yet another ‘bitter blow to borrowers’

11th Mar 24 3:29 pm

Halifax have just announced fixed rates are increasing by up to 0.2% from Wednesday, joining Santander, Co-op and other high street lenders with higher rates on the first day of this week.

Halifax are to increase their rates on 2 and 5 year fixed rate products and there will be no changes to “remortgage/product transfer/further advance products.”

Newspage asked mortgage brokers for their reaction to this, and why the mortgage market has started this week on such a dour note.

Justin Moy, managing director at EHF Mortgages said, “More disappointment in the mortgage market, with the UK’s largest lender also now increasing rates this week following others earlier in the day.

“This is a bitter blow to borrowers, especially when we are rapidly moving towards the most important time of the year for buying and selling property.

“Rates need to fall, and fall quickly, to rescue both the economy and property market.”

Katy Eatenton, mortgage & protection specialist at Lifetime Wealth Management said, “This week hasn’t started how we would have hoped. Three of the big six lenders have now announced rate increases.

“This is even worse given that many high street banks aren’t currently sourcing at the top of the list when looking for products.

“This confirms that they are not increasing prices to reduce volumes of business, so they may be anticipating that the next set of inflation data may not be as positive as we would like.”

Dariusz Karpowicz, director at Albion Financial Advice said, “The news today is a mixed bag for mortgage hopefuls.

“Santander and NatWest’s rate hikes are certainly a setback, especially after the recent optimism around falling swap rates.

“However, those swap rates, which reflect lenders’ borrowing costs, have been dropping in the 5-year market, leading some brokers to believe mortgage rates may actually fall in the coming weeks.

“The key factor to watch is next week’s inflation figures. If they show a decrease, it could signal the Bank of England is nearing a pause, or even a cut, in interest rates.

“This would likely translate to lower mortgage rates from lenders. The disappointing Spring Budget, which lacked significant measures to address the UK housing market, certainly doesn’t help.

“It reinforces the idea that affordability will remain a challenge, even if rates do come down.

“So, while today’s news is discouraging, there’s still a chance for better rates in the near future.”

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