In Focus: Home ownership  

Dip, crash, soft landing? What mortgage advisers expect

Dip, crash, soft landing? What mortgage advisers expect

Mortgage brokers have welcomed moves by leading high-street banks to start reducing mortgage rates in 0.5 percentage point increments as the chaos brought about by former Prime Minister Liz Truss abates.

But even as the dust settles on the mortgage market frenzy of September to October, underlying economic factors still remain that will affect homeowners and prospective buyers

These include persistently high levels of inflation, the prospect of a cruel winter with soaring energy prices, and uncertainty over the geopolitical ambitions of certain pugilistic world leaders. 

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Amid this uncertain environment, FTAdviser In Focus spoke with Jessica Burton, associate director of Anderson Harris, to find out what clients are asking and what advisers are telling them.

FTAdviser: Dip, crash, soft landing - what are mortgage advisers expecting? 

Jessica Burton: Referring to the mortgage market - we have been in such a low interest rate environment for such a long time, it has become what feels like the norm when actually it's not really that normal.

I think we will see Bank of England base rate continue to increase to help control inflation.

I hope that the current fixed rate mortgages that are available have already priced in the potential increases and therefore do not continue to increase.

The current fixed rates are really pushing the edges of affordability hence borrowers would love to see the fixed rates reduce so that the monthly payments on fixed-rate mortgages are much more manageable.

FTA: What about the property market itself?

JB: There is some correlation between the availability/pricing of mortgage finance and property values, hence we are expecting at least a softening in property values.

In some areas values may come down because of the cost of borrowing and other factors such as the cost of living.

However, I do not think that there will be a crash.

With rates fixed at approximately 5 per cent, many borrowers are not prepared to commit themselves to a large mortgage at a time when other outgoings are increasing too.

Many borrowers will be hoping fixed rates will come down further soon. There is still a lack of decent available housing stock in many areas, which may limit the decreases in values. 

FTA: What sort of strategies are advisers employing to help customers? 

JB: The main thing is making sure to contact clients as early as possible to look at their mortgage options.

Borrowers can secure a remortgage rate six months away from their current mortgage rate ending with most lenders, and they can look at options with their existing lender three to six months away from their current mortgage rate ending.

We are making sure to contact all clients that have a rate coming up in the next 12 months so that we can prepare them for what's to come and make sure that their plans can be realised at the end of their current deal.