Moneyfacts – Mortgage Finance Gazette

The average shelf-life of a mortgage product tumbled to a six-month low of 15 days, data from Moneyfacts shows, as lenders lifted rates.


This falls from 28 days at the start of February, according to the data group’s latest Mortgage Trends Treasury Report.

It adds the last time the lifespan of home loans was this low came last September, while the study’s record low of 12 days was posted last July.

The move comes as overall average two- and five-year fixed-rate loans from the start of February lifted 20 basis points to 5.76% and 16bps to 5.34%, respectively. 

The average standard variable rate edged a single basis point higher to 8.18%, just short of a record high of 8.19%, hit during November and December 2023.

Rising mortgage fixes have followed moves among swap rates. 

Two-year sonia swaps lifted to 4.463% on 8 March, from 4.429% on 12 February, data from Chatham Financial shows. Although, five-year sonia swaps fell to 3.850% from 3.896% over the same period. 

However, the number of overall loans on the market lifted 3.7% to 6,004 products, the highest level since March 2008, when products totalled 6,192. 

Moneyfacts finance expert Rachel Springall says: “Mortgage product availability was volatile during February as the average shelf life of a deal plummeted to just 15 days, a six-month low. 

“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.”

John Charcol head of marketing Nicholas Mendes adds: “Mortgage rates are continuously being repriced, even to the extent that we’ve seen lenders reprice twice in a week. Some lenders provide little notice of a rate change.”

Last week, NatWest pledged to give brokers 24 hours’ notice on mortgage rate changes where it can.   

Coventry Building Society is widely seen as leading best practice in this area, with the mutual giving brokers two days’ notice before making a major product change. 

Mendes points out: “Brokers have called for a 24-hour rate notice pledge to help ensure clients are able to secure the best deal, which encompasses Consumer Duty guidelines. 

“Unfortunately, mainly building societies have agreed to this. with NatWest being the only high street lender to recently pledge to give 24 hours’, or provide as much notice as possible about a rate change.”

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