House prices rise as mortgage rates start to climb

4 August 2015
The average house price has climbed 3.5% in the past year and experts are warning that mortgage rates are also starting to rise.The latest data from Nationwide put the average house price at £195,621 in July, up from £188,949 the same time last year and £195,055 in June.Meanwhile, MoneySuperMarket said it has seen a rapid rise in the average 60% loan-to-value (LTV) fixed rate. It stood at 2.23% on 3 August, compared to 2.09% on 23 July, a rise of 0.14 percentage points.It added that since Mark Carney suggested the Bank of England could start considering an increase in the base rate from "the turn of the year" in a speech in mid-July, some of best mortgage deals have become "less favourable".It gave the example of First Direct, which offered a rate of 1.49% on its best two-year fix at the start of July but has since increased this to 1.69%.Based on the UK average house price of £195,621, the 1.69% rate would cost a homeowner £479.96 a month, while the 1.49% rate would cost £468.86 (based on no application fee and a 25-year mortgage term). While the monthly change may not sound significant, over the duration of the mortgage it adds £3,330 to the cost of the loan.David Hollingworth at broker London & Country Mortgages told Moneywise: "I think it's fair to say that we are seeing an edging up of rates and that the tide has turned from seemingly endless cuts."Some major lenders including Woolwich/Barclays, Santander, Yorkshire BS and Post Office altered some rates last week and Tesco Bank repriced yesterday. Woolwich put its five-year fix up by 0.20% to 2.59% and the 10-year increased from 2.99% to 3.25%. Santander withdrew some rates and increased others by 0.10%. Post Office withdrew a leading broker-only five-year fix at 2.14%."He added that while lenders hadn't hiked every deal in their range and some may have only "tweaked" products it does look like the bottom of the market may have been hit."There are still some great deals out there but it does act as a warning to borrowers that those that wait for the base rate to rise will find that the lowest fixed rates have long gone," he said."Once lenders start to withdraw their best rates it can put greater pressure on the remaining lenders, potentially creating something of a domino effect."However, he said there are "still plenty of very cheap rates out there" and so while there's no need to panic just yet, "the direction of travel is generally upward for fixes".

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