Over the last few months and again today I’ve seen new tracker mortgages being pushed by lenders here in the UK and it got me thinking about the current mortgage market and if these products are a good or bad thing if I had to remortgage right now?
I’ll use an example of a 2 year base rate tracker mortgage, this is an actual mortgage on offer in the UK but I won’t say which lender it is. The interest rate tracks the Bank of England base rate (at the moment this is 5 per cent) and you pay +0.98 per cent on top. So if you took out this mortgage today you’d be paying 5.98 per cent interest.
CUstomers can borrow up to 75 per cent of the value of their property and there is a 999 arrangement fee, which is fairly cheap in comparison with other fees around.
Firstly I must say it’s good to see a fairly competitive interest rate with the added benefit of a reasonable product arrangement fee. I say ‘reasonable’; personally I think mortgage fees are a rip off becuase the lender is providing mortgages to people every day, at the very least I think there should be a cap on mortgage fees. However, in today’s market a fee under 1,000 is a good start.
It’s also quite a warning sign for me that all the tracker mortgages seem to have competitive interest rates and low fees at the moment, compared to fixed rate mortgages. I say this because industry experts are predicting interest rate rises in the coming months, on-one knows when exactly of course but I’d say interest rates will rise again before the end of 2008.
This means that everyone taking out a tracker mortgage now will end up with higher monthly payments by the end of the year. It seems like lenders may be trying to attract new customers with the low fees and relatively low interest rates of a tracker mortgage rather than a fixed rate mortgage. No wonder the fees and interest rates of fixed rate mortgages are increasing – lenders don’t want people to take out these products so they’re pricing consumers out.
One thing is for sure though, everyone has a choice when it comes to mortgages.
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