The mortgage market held up surprisingly well in 2017 with some of the cheapest fixed-rate mortgages ever seen. Even the first rise in base rate in a decade, taking it to 0.5 per cent, didn’t lead to a significant increase in mortgage pricing. First-time buyers were back with a vengeance (albeit many with some help from the Bank of Mum and Dad) as lenders offered high loan-to-value deals at tempting rates, while the Chancellor did his bit with a stamp duty exemption on properties up to £300,000.
But what lies in store for 2018? Firstly, we don’t expect another interest rate rise anytime soon, as the economic recovery remains tentative at best. On the mortgage front, lenders remain keen to lend and we expect those keenly-priced deals to be with us for a while yet.
Much depends on what happens with the Brexit negotiations and this may continue to impact people’s decisions to buy and sell their homes. Independent advice will be crucial, particularly if borrowers believe themselves to be mortgage prisoners, unable to remortgage to another deal. It may be that there is an option available so it is worth checking this out, particularly if you are on your lender’s standard variable rate, and therefore paying over the odds.