Homebuyers facing more mortgage choice but shorter sh…

Homebuyers facing more mortgage choice but shorter shelf life

The mortgage price war appears to have eased and the shelf life on home loans has hit a six-month low, Moneyfacts data shows.

Figures from the comparison website show average mortgage rates on the overall two- and five-year fixed rate deals have increased as of early March, breaking six months of consecutive cuts.

The overall average two- and five-year fixed rates rose between the start of February and the start of March, to 5.76% and 5.34% respectively. 

The average shelf-life of a mortgage product has also plummeted to 15 days, a six-month low, down from 28 days at the start of February 2024. The lowest shelf-life average on our records was 12 days in July 2023.

In some good news for buyers, product choice overall rose month-on-month, to 6,004 options, its highest level since March 2008.

The availability of deals at the 90% loan-to-value tier has increased to its highest point in four years at 761.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Lenders reacted to the change in swap rates, leading to numerous repricing of fixed rate deals, no doubt making it a challenging situation for borrowers and brokers to keep on top of the changes.

“The rate volatility led to a rise in both the overall average two- and five-year fixed rates, the opposite direction borrowers may well have hoped for after positive rate cuts recorded a month prior. However, it is worth noting that fixed rates remain lower than at the start of 2024 and there are still some decent options available for borrowers to compare.

“As fixed mortgage rates rise, borrowers may wish to wait and see whether these rates will come back down in the weeks to come, but they must keep in mind that there is still an incentive to switch away from a Standard Variable Rate (SVR). All eyes are on the Monetary Policy Committee and their future rate setting, in conjunction with the swap rate market, as to whether mortgage rates will come down this year.”

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