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Is it time to fix your mortgage rate?
A number of mortgage lenders have hiked the standard variable rate (SVR) in recent weeks. Does this mean it's time to fix?
by Victoria Bischoff on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:35Follow @VBischoff
Over a million mortgage customers will see their standard variable rate (SVR) rise in the next couple of months.
But do the recent rate hikes mean people should now look to fix their mortgage rate? Or, with the Bank of England base rate still so low, should people stick it out and stay on a variable rate deal?
Here, we've asked two experts what they think.
Who has increased their rates?
First a quick recap on who’s raised what.
Home loan giant Halifax was the first to up its SVR this month, with a 3.50% increase for some 850,000 customers effective from 1 May.
Bank of Ireland and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks soon followed suit, with respective SVR hikes of 1% and 0.36% for a combined total of 40,000 mortgage customers.
RBS and Santander, meanwhile, also recently announced a number of mortgage rate hikes – but these increases do not affect customers on SVR mortgages.
Should I fix my rate?
‘It’s time to do something,’ said David Hollingworth of broker London and Country Mortgages.
The question is whether customers currently on their lenders’ SVR should opt for a fixed rate deal – and if so what length – or go for a tracker deal.
‘There are savings to be had by switching to a fixed rate deal and you will have security in your rate,’ he explained.
What’s more, you won’t see a big increase in payments if you move to a fix, he said. Yorkshire Building Society’s 3.49% five-year fixed rate deal, for example, easily undercuts Halifax’s increased SVR of 3.99%.
However, Ray Boulger, of John Charcol, stressed that when considering a fixed rate mortgage, customers should avoid locking into a two-year deal.
More about this:
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- Mortgage rates: why are they rising and who'll be hit?
- What is a mortgage and how do I get one?
- Bank of England extends 0.5% interest rates and QE into fourth year
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