In Focus: Home ownership  

How to advise on mortgages right now

How to advise on mortgages right now

Things will get better but "it will be a long time before we see 2 per cent rates again", mortgage experts have stated on the latest FTAdviser In Focus podcast.

"Things will be a bit more normal", according to Rob Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, given the certainty now from the Bank of England. 

"The panic has gone to an extent", said fellow guest Jane King, adviser for Ash Ridge, "but people are still very uncertain and do not know what to do.

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"If they are looking to purchase, I have definitely seen my clients saying they will wait until next year. 'Can we be in by Christmas' - that kind of talk has pretty much gone."

Adviser Lewis Shaw, who has just launched a new trading style - Riverside Mortgages - amid the cost of living crisis, said "it's a mixed bag". 

He explained that in smaller towns outside of London and other large cities the situation was a little different, largely because the house price-to-loan size tended to be smaller. 

Shaw added: "In the main, as long as most people can keep a level head, hopefully brokers can help them sail through this period of uncertainty.

"But it is as much about keeping an even keel politically as much as anything else."

The guests said there were "some glimmers of hope" though. King said: "People should consider slipping over to a variable rate, even on a temporary basis.

"These are much cheaper than fixed rates, you do not have to be tied into repayment charges, and you can wait until fixed rates start to come down again.

"The downside is if fixed rates do continue to rise, it could be more expensive. Though variable rates come with an element of risk and volatility, clients should think about doing this for a short period of time."

Sinclair agreed, adding: "The challenge for the broker and the customer is about what needs to happen now, rather than whether they want to do something now.

"If someone can wait and defer a decision it is the right thing to do."

He pointed to the fact that base rates had been predicted to top at 6 per cent during the "Trussonomics" period, but now these are expected to top out at 5 per cent and might even top out at 4 per cent.

Sinclair said this could make affordability stress rates look better in the future.

Shaw added: "There could be a CPD issue for some advisers who haven't been in a situation where volatility is rife, and that should get some attention.

"I am firmly of the belief that trackers have their place for certain people but others feel that a fixed rate is still appropriate: so it has to be more than the maths - [we have to consider] the emotion."