Wednesday 28 September 2022 03:44 AM Expert issues warning amid fears rates could hit 5.5% by November as hundreds ... trends now

Wednesday 28 September 2022 03:44 AM Expert issues warning amid fears rates could hit 5.5% by November as hundreds ... trends now
Wednesday 28 September 2022 03:44 AM Expert issues warning amid fears rates could hit 5.5% by November as hundreds ... trends now

Wednesday 28 September 2022 03:44 AM Expert issues warning amid fears rates could hit 5.5% by November as hundreds ... trends now

Bank experts have warned of mortgage chaos for homebuyers amid fears that rates could reach 5.5 per cent by November - as the International Monetary Fund slams Kwasi Kwarteng over his 'untargeted' economic plan.  

HSBC and Santander have suspended new mortgage deals amid fears that homeowners could be forced into selling their homes or take up a second job to combat 'catastrophic' rises in their monthly repayments.

Nationwide, meanwhile, became the first big name lender to hike its fixed-rate deals yesterday, with the bank's two-year rate rising to 5.59 per cent - more than double the 2.54 per cent it was offering three months ago.

Lenders are taking drastic steps after analysts warned the base rate could surge to six per cent next spring. Such a move would increase repayments for the average household by up to £800 per month, or £9,600 annually, by the middle of next year. 

In the subsequent scramble, around 365 mortgage deals are understood to have been axed already. as Mr Kwarteng urgently tries to reassure Tory MPs and City chiefs. 

It comes as Huw Pill, the Bank of England's chief economist, reaffirmed remarks made by Governor Andrew Bailey that it is ready to take action to prevent soaring inflation and warned a 'significant' response will be needed.

Speaking at the International Monetary Policy Forum, he said: 'In the context of the rebalancing of the market environment and in anticipation of looser fiscal policy, it is hard not to conclude that this will require a significant monetary policy response. Let me leave it there.'

Mr Pill said there will be 'challenging times' to bring inflation down to the current two per cent target, with recent market conditions having created 'additional challenges'. 

His comments came as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slammed Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget announcement, warning that 'large and untargeted fiscal packages' would lead to an increase in inequality across the UK.

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of the Chancellor's economic plan, though the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike.

The IMF has urged Mr Kwarteng to instead consider more targeted support for households and businesses instead of large tax cuts and higher spending.

A spokesperson said: 'We are closely monitoring recent economic developments in the UK and are engaged with the authorities. 

'Given elevated inflation pressures in many countries, including the UK, we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture, as it is important that fiscal policy does not work at cross purposes to monetary policy.'

The statement highlighted concern that Mr Kwarteng and the Bank of England are pulling in opposite directions with taxes being cut while interest rates increase. 

The Chancellor responded to the Pound's plummet by promising to set out plans on medium term debt-cutting on November 23.

But the IMF, in a rare intervention, has said the announcement would 'present an early opportunity fothe UK Government to consider ways to provide support that is more targeted and re-evaluate the tax measures, especially those that benefit high earners'.

Huw Pill, the Bank of England's chief economist, has warned a 'significant' response will be needed following the mini-Budget announcement

Huw Pill, the Bank of England's chief economist, has warned a 'significant' response will be needed following the mini-Budget announcement

Landlord Amanda Osborne (pictured) warned the 'banks will make people homeless

Gary Sanders, 53, said the successive increases in mortgage rates so far this year alone have forced him to put his home back on the market

Landlord Amanda Osborne (pictured) warned the 'banks will make people homeless and there will be empty houses which won't sell' after she and her partner's mortgage payments have soared by 89 per cent

The Pound recovered from record lows on Monday to rise 0.85 per cent against the dollar, but it remains well below the level prior to Mr Kwarteng's announcement.

HSBC, Santander and Nationwide, along with Lloyds, which also paused some of its products, account for around half of the mortgage market in Britain.

Others to have pulled or amended deals include Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Building Society, Leek United Building Society, Nottingham Building Society, Bank of Ireland and Paragon Bank.

HSBC says it has removed from sale its new business Residential and Buy to Let products for the rest of the day, but added that all products and rates for existing customers remain available.

A spokesperson said: 'In order to ensure that we stay within our operational capacity, from time to time we need to limit the amount of business we can take each day, which means that once certain daily limits are reached, we will need to limit our range for the rest of that day. 

'Our broker products will be available again tomorrow, Wednesday 28 September. We continue to review the situation regularly.'  

Banks that were still offering new mortgages this morning, including the likes of Barclays, HSBC and NatWest, were being overwhelmed with demand, The FT reports.   

There are also fears it could take banks as long as a week to reprice mortgage deals - leaving buyers in the dark. 

Mark Mullen, chief executive of retail bank Atom, also told the FT: 'The markets are very turbulent and being able to price them appropriately is very difficult, so we’re better off not guessing and waiting until things settle down a bit.'

It comes as a family-of-four have been forced to abandon their years-long plan to buy a suitably-sized home as they become the latest victims of surging interest rates. 

Sales executive Verity Blair, 35, said she and her fiancé Alex 'just can't afford to buy anymore' after the Bank of England upped the rate to 2.25 per cent last Thursday - meaning their monthly mortgage repayments would have been £4,000, double the price they were quoted in February of this year. 

The couple, who share twin daughters Penelope and Sofia, are now 'stuck' renting in the expensive London market after 'spending years' getting themselves in a position to buy a family home, branding the situation 'scary'. 

Ms Blair told MailOnline:  'We are finally in a position to buy a family home outside of London, but the price point we were looking at in February of this year, just six months later would mean our monthly mortgage payments would double - from approximately £2,000 per month to £4,000 per month. 

'It's scary, because that is only set to increase. Everyone is talking about the energy price crisis but for most people their mortgage is the biggest bill they pay every month. I am not sure how people will cope when this comes to affect them when current fixed rates run out. 

'After several years of trying to get in a position where we can buy a family home, we continue to be stuck renting because we cannot afford to buy owing to rate hikes.'

The couple have another flat in London but are unable to sell as it is worth 15 per cent less than when it was purchased seven years ago. 

The climbing mortgage rates could spell disaster for millions of other families who are already struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, while first time buyers face monthly repayments upwards of £1,100, a third more than they were paying in January, according to property portal RightMove. 

Sales executive Verity Blair, 35, said she and her fiance Alex (pictured with their twin daughters Penelope and Sofia) 'just can't afford to buy anymore' after the Bank of England upped the rate to 2.25 per cent last Thursday - meaning their monthly mortgage repayments would have doubled to £4,000 compared to when they started looking in February of this year

Sales executive Verity Blair, 35, said she and her fiance Alex (pictured with their twin daughters Penelope and Sofia) 'just can't afford to buy anymore' after the Bank of England upped the rate to 2.25 per cent last Thursday - meaning their monthly mortgage repayments would have doubled to £4,000 compared to when they started looking in February of this year

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, but the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, but the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike

Mortgage giant Halifax pulled all its products for homebuyers that charge a fee 'as a result of significant changes in mortgage market pricing' in recent weeks. A string of smaller lenders followed in its footsteps. Virgin Money removed its entire range for new customers. Applications for mortgages which have already been submitted will be processed as normal and existing borrowers will still be able to transfer to a different deal. Others to pull deals include Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Building Society, Leek United Building Society, Nottingham Building Society, Bank of Ireland and Paragon Bank

Mortgage giant Halifax pulled all its products for homebuyers that charge a fee 'as a result of significant changes in mortgage market pricing' in recent weeks. A string of smaller lenders followed in its footsteps. Virgin Money removed its entire range for new customers. Applications for mortgages which have already been submitted will be processed as normal and existing borrowers will still be able to transfer to a different deal. Others to pull deals include Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Building Society, Leek United Building Society, Nottingham Building Society, Bank of Ireland and Paragon Bank

 

Homeowners are 'so scared' about the rising interest rates that will see their monthly repayments skyrocket amid a cost-of-living crisis, while others are 'so glad' they are locked into longer-term fixed rates - as Halifax reports 'extremely busy' phonelines as customers scramble to chat with advisors

Homeowners are 'so scared' about the rising interest rates that will see their monthly repayments skyrocket amid a cost-of-living crisis, while others are 'so glad' they are locked into longer-term fixed rates - as Halifax reports 'extremely busy' phonelines as customers scramble to chat with advisors 

What to do if you need a mortgage 

Borrowers who need to find a mortgage because their current fixed rate deal is coming to an end, or because they have agreed a house purchase, have been urged to act but not to panic, writes This is Money editor Simon Lambert.

Banks and building societies are still lending and mortgages are still on offer with applications being accepted. 

Rates are changing rapidly, however, and there is no guarantee that deals will last and not be replaced with mortgages charging higher rates. 

This is Money's best mortgage rates calculator powered by L&C can show you deals that match your mortgage and property value

What if I need to remortgage? 

Borrowers should compare rates and speak to a mortgage broker and be prepared to act to secure a rate. 

Anyone with a fixed rate deal ending within the next six to nine months, should look into how much it would cost them to remortgage now - and consider locking into a new deal. 

Most mortgage deals allow fees to be added the loan and they are then only charged when it is taken out. By doing this, borrowers can secure a rate without paying expensive arrangement fees.

What if I am buying a home? 

Those with home purchases agreed should also aim to secure rates as soon as possible, so they know exactly what their monthly payments will be. 

Home buyers should beware overstretching themselves and be prepared for the possibility that house prices may fall from their current high levels, due to  higher mortgage rates limiting people's borrowing ability.

How to compare mortgage costs 

The best way to compare mortgage costs and find the right deal for you is to speak to a good broker.

This is Money's mortgage broker partner L&C told me that mortgages are still available and you can use our best mortgage rates calculator to show deals matching your home value, mortgage size, term and fixed rate needs.

Be aware that rates can change quickly, however, and so the advice is that if you need a mortgage to compare rates and then speak to a broker as soon as possible, so they can help you find the right mortgage for you.

Check the best fixed rate mortgages you could apply for 

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Another homeowner, who only gave his name as Matthew H, said his social worker wife is now having to look for extra part time work to cover the rising mortgage costs. 

The couple's fixed rate at 1.34 per cent with Skipton will expire in January. 

He told MailOnline: 'An increased rate of 4.5 per cent (currently the best fixed) will no doubt be closer to 6 per cent when I am free to review options. On a mortgage of £340,000 this is going to add £500-plus to our monthly payments.

'The limited tax cuts afforded to middle class workers will not even scratch the surface. We are in times of deep worry, incompetent government policies and deafly silence from the treasury.'

He added: 'We can't sit here like chickens waiting to be plucked, so my wife is looking for a part time additional job to supplement family income.' 

A mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said she and her partner's mortgage payments were set to double under the new interest hike.

She said: 'I'm terrified, we both have good salaries and work full time. We have a daughter.

'This will push us into poverty.'

One landlord warned the 'banks will make people homeless and there will be empty houses which won't sell' after she and her partner's mortgage payments have soared by 89 per cent. 

Amanda Osborne, who owns five buy-to-let properties on variable rate mortgages, told MailOnline: 'Our income hasn't increased by that much. And obviously we cannot increase our tenants rent by 89 per cent to match these increases and certainly not as rapidly as the interest rates have gone up. It's simply unaffordable on incomes as they are.

'More interest rate increases, which seem inevitable given the BofE approach to this mess, is simply not affordable.

'So we are in a situation where we could sell but no one can afford to buy or we increase tenants rent so that it is unaffordable and they can't pay?

'Either way the banks will make people homeless and there will be empty houses which won't sell.'

Gary Sanders, 53, said the successive increases in mortgage rates so far this year alone have forced him to put his home back on the market. 

He told MailOnline: 'People are suffering now because of the seven increases since the end of last year. My mortgage has already risen from just over £500 a month to £1200 a month. I know they are going to go higher. I have put my property on the market as I have no choice but to sell.

'I am a 53 year old man who has worked hard his whole life and I find myself being forced to move back with my parents.'

He added: 'I am a staunch conservative but what a sorry state this country is in after 12 years of conservative leadership.'

It comes as other homeowners took to social media today to say they are 'terrified' of the rising interest rates, as one wrote on Twitter: 'I think we may end up homeless.' 

Another said he 'laid awake at night' worrying about how he would afford the hike in repayments, branding it 'anxiety on steroids', while a single mother pleaded for help, adding: 'I am so scared.' 

Others said they were 'so glad' that they had been locked into longer fixed deals, meaning they won't be affected by the rate rises until their terms end. 

'I'm VERY thankful for my fixed rate mortgage at the moment,' one wrote, 'things look pretty dicey for folks whose deals will expire soon.'  

Meanwhile, lenders like Halifax reported 'extremely busy' phone lines as homeowners scrambled to remortgage or chat with a mortgage advisor. 

The base rate is currently at 2.25 per cent after the seventh consecutive increase last Thursday – up from a record-low of 0.1 per cent in December.

An increase to as high as 6 per cent next year would be a major blow for around two million homeowners who have variable loans, which move in line with the base rate. 

There are also a further 1.8million borrowers who are currently locked into cheap fixed deals which are due expire over the next year.

They now face paying thousands of pounds more a year when they come to remortgage as lenders frantically hike rates to reflect analysts' predictions. 

Someone who took out a £200,000 two-year fixed mortgage in March 2021, when the average rate was 1.5 per cent, would see their annual bill leap by £7,000 if rates rise to 6 per cent, according to figures from investment firm AJ Bell.

In another setback for borrowers desperately seeking to lock into an affordable fixed deal, many lenders have responded to interest rate uncertainty by temporarily quitting the market altogether. 

As many as 20 lenders moved to withdraw dozens of loans yesterday, according to mortgage broker L&C.

The pound steadied in early trading in Asian markets on Tuesday as it recovered ground slightly. 

Sterling sat around around 1.08 dollars by 7am, but economists have warned it could still fall to parity with the dollar this year for the first time.

Senior Tory MP Huw Merriman - who backed former chancellor Rishi Sunak for Conservative leader - warned Liz Truss may be losing voters 'with policies we warned against', as a new YouGov survey put Labour 17 points ahead, the party's greatest lead since the firm started polling in 2001.

Which banks have pulled mortgage products?  

Halifax: Pulled all its products for homebuyers that charge a fee 'as a result of significant changes in mortgage market pricing' in recent weeks. 

Virgin Money:  Removed its entire range for new customers. Applications for mortgages which have already been submitted will be processed as normal and existing borrowers will still be able to transfer to a different deal.

Skipton Building Society: Pulled mortgage ranges for new customers. 

Clydesdale Bank: Pulled fixed mortgages for new customers. 

Paragon: Pulled fixed mortgages for new customers.

Leek United: Pulled fixed mortgages for new customers.

The Nottingham for Intermediaries: Pulled fixed mortgages for new customers.

Scottish Building Society: Withdrew all fixed rate mortgages.

Darlington: Withdrew all fixed rate mortgages.

CHL Mortgages: Withdrew all fixed rate mortgages.

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Mortgage giant Halifax pulled all its products for homebuyers that charge a fee 'as a result of significant changes in mortgage market pricing' in recent weeks.

A string of smaller lenders followed in its footsteps.  

Halifax stressed that it had not changed its mortgage rates and that it continued to offer arrangement fee-free options for borrowers. 

Meanwhile, Virgin Money removed its entire range for new customers. Applications for mortgages which have already been submitted will be processed as normal and existing borrowers will still be able to transfer to a different deal. 

Among other lenders, HSBC said it had no plans to change mortgage offers while NatWest said its rates were under 'continual review in line with market conditions'.

David Hollingworth, of mortgage brokers L&C, said: 'Volatile funding costs are forcing lenders to re-price their loans. That's been true all year but that volatility received a turbo-boost as markets react to last week's events. As a result, more are taking the decision to step back until the dust settles.' 

He added: 'Strong demand for fixed deals as borrowers look to batten down the hatches poses another issue as if they get the pricing wrong they could be swamped with applications which they are not able to process efficiently.'

Experts have warned that middle-class homeowners who stretched themselves to buy bigger homes could be among the worst-hit by soaring mortgage costs. 

Mortgage broker Rachel Dixon said: 'Middle-income families, who don't always benefit from financial help from the Government, will be the most impacted.

'These families are already squeezed with the cost of living, so this will just be another added burden for them.'

Mortgage companies are also now factoring in higher household bills when calculating how much homeowners can afford to borrow – which could make it even harder to find a competitive deal. 

The Pounds clawed back ground by early afternoon, returning to just over $1.08 - but then tumbled again after the Bank of England stopped short of raising rates

The Pounds clawed back ground by early afternoon, returning to just over $1.08 - but then tumbled again after the Bank of England stopped short of raising rates 

Everything you need to know about the Sterling crisis 

What has happened?

The pound, which was already at a 37-year low against the dollar, has fallen further. Sterling was trading at more than $1.16 when Liz Truss became Prime Minister just 20 days ago. It fell close to $1.08 on Friday and went as low as $1.0386 during overnight trading in Asia. UK bonds have also slumped – pushing up the cost of government borrowing.

Why is sterling down?

The dollar has been surging against all currencies as it combats inflation with aggressive rate hikes. The US economy also looks healthier than those of Britain and Europe. Meanwhile Britain has been racked by political uncertainty and a cost of living crisis. The Bank of England has not acted as forcefully to combat inflation as expected and new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has stunned markets with the biggest tax cuts in 50 years. Coupled with the massive energy bill support package, this has fuelled worries about the scale of government borrowing. Mr Kwarteng doubled down over the weekend, pledging: 'There's more to come'. The pound then resumed its sell-off.

What can be done?

The Chancellor has ruled out a U-turn, leaving the Bank of England to watch the markets.Governor Andrew Bailey says the Bank 'will not hesitate' to hike rates if needed, but that may not be enough to halt the pound's rapid slide.

Can a weak pound have advantages?

UK exporters will find their products are more competitively-priced against global rivals. However, components for products made in the UK are often made abroad so those exporters will in many cases be absorbing higher costs.

What does it mean for households?

Holidaymakers will find their spending money does not stretch as far and filling up a car could also become more expensive because oil is priced in dollars and will cost more to import. According to the AA, the average tank of petrol has already increased by £7.50. When the pound falls, it can also push up prices in the shops as the cost of buying goods from overseas rises. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is expected to raise its base rate, making borrowing – especially on mortgages – more costly. There is no guarantee that banks will pass on rate rises to savers – and even then it is unlikely to stop the value of savers' cash being eroded by high inflation. The impact on investments depends on whether companies are sensitive to a weaker pound.

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And they are becoming increasingly cautious about lending to those individuals they deem riskier, such as first-time buyers with small deposits and the self-employed.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at estate agent Hamptons, said: 'First-time buyers will be amongst the hardest hit by rising rates. Not only is inflation eroding their ability to save, but higher interest rates are also affecting how much they can afford to borrow.'

Sarah Coles, a senior analyst with the Hargreaves Lansdown financial services company, said: 'Rate prediction is a notoriously difficult business. 

'But what's not in any doubt is that rates are on their way up and the more that inflationary forces build, the higher they are likely to go.'

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, but the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike.

Governor Andrew Bailey issued a statement insisting Threadneedle Street 'will not hesitate to act', but did not pull the trigger on an increase that markets had anticipated.

The move came after Mr Kwarteng tried to calm market fears by announcing he will lay out fiscal rules on government debt as part of an Autumn Statement on November 23 - alongside a full independent assessment of the state's books.

But economists fear Sterling could slump to parity with the US dollar this year for the first time. It sat at about 1.08 US dollars on Tuesday.

Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, today urged Prime Minister Liz Truss to take a 'difficult decision' which will boost the currency's value.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, he said: 'The weakness of the pound is hurting, not Virgin Atlantic, it's hurting the economy and it's hurting consumers because it's actually fulfilling or fuelling the inflation vicious cycle that we're in...

'The message to Government is pretty clear in my mind. Prime Minister Liz Truss has taken difficult decisions upon entering into the role.

'Maybe you need to take a more difficult decision to reverse the declining pound and ensure that this country is not left with unsustainable perceived weakness in international markets, which of course then impact interest rates, impact consumers, impact mortgage rates, impact the entire economy.

'So yes, we are concerned. The fundamentals are strong, but we're concerned of course like everyone else in this country with the economic environment in which we operate.'

He continued: 'Sometimes all of us in this room should be humble enough to say: 'If I did something that is not working, maybe I should reverse course. That is not a bad thing to do.'

It comes as Mr Kwarteng was scheduled to meet with City investors to discuss a package of deregulation as he contends with massive market turmoil sparked by his tax-cutting mini-budget.

The Chancellor met with pension funds, insurers and asset managers to discuss what is being billed as a Big Bang 2.0 - a reference to Margaret Thatcher's 1986 policies which kicked off a massive change in the City.

Aviva, Legal and General, Royal London, BlackRock, Fidelity, and JP Morgan were all expected to be in the room on Tuesday morning.

On a rollercoaster day Monday, Sterling dropped as low as just $1.0327, briefly returned to just over $1.08, before going quickly back down to $1.06.

Because many key commodities are priced in dollars, a weak pound drives inflation up further. Markets are now pricing in the headline interest rate reaching 6 per cent by next year, heaping more misery on families.

The cost of government borrowing also rose to the highest rate in a decade - causing another headache for Mr Kwarteng as he is using extra debt to fund tax cuts and the energy bills bailout.

However, he is refusing to change course, after insisting only yesterday that there are more tax cuts in the pipeline. 

Mr Bailey said in his separate statement: 'The Bank is monitoring developments in financial markets very closely in light of the significant repricing of financial assets.

'In recent weeks, the Government has made a number of important announcements. The Government's Energy Price Guarantee will reduce the near-term peak in inflation. Last Friday the Government announced its Growth Plan, on which the Chancellor has provided further detail in his statement today.

'I welcome the Government's commitment to sustainable economic growth, and to the role of the Office for Budget Responsibility in its assessment of prospects for the economy and public finances.

'The role of monetary policy is to ensure that demand does not get ahead of supply in a way that leads to more inflation over the medium term. As the MPC has made clear, it will make a full assessment at its next scheduled meeting of the impact on demand and inflation from the Government's announcements, and the fall in sterling, and act accordingly.

'The MPC will not hesitate to change interest rates by as much as needed to return inflation to the 2 per cent target sustainably in the medium term, in line with its remit.'

What does the plunging pound mean for mortgages? From customers with fixed-rate deals to those looking to get on the housing ladder, vital Q&A on how feared rise in interest rates will affect homeowners and first time buyers 

Mortgage repayments will likely soar for millions across Britain following the Bank of England's latest rise in interest rates.

And the situation looks set to worsen after the pound began to plummet this week following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget announcement on Friday. 

Analysts now fear the base rate could increase to 6 per cent by next spring, while lenders, including Halifax, Virgin Money and Skipton have begun withdrawing mortgage deals as a result. 

The surging costs could spell disaster for families who are already struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. 

Here MailOnline looks at some of the key questions and what interest rate hikes could mean for you:

Why has the pound plummeted this week? 

The pound has plummeted in direct reaction to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's so-called mini-budget on Friday, which announced the biggest tax cuts in the past 50 years. 

Coupled with the massive energy bill support package, this has fuelled concerns about the scale of government borrowing. 

While there was an initial fall after the chancellor's announcement, Sterling started to rally slightly. However, Mr Kwarteng's comments over the weekend saying more tax cuts were coming saw further falls. 

Why has this affected mortgages? 

It is widely expected that if the pound does not rally, the Bank of England will increase the interest rate, meaning debt will become more expensive, hitting many things including mortgages. 

Simon Jones, CEO of financial comparison site investingreviews.co.uk, said: 'Sterling's slump is fuelling speculation that the Bank of England may need to take action by hiking interest rates even before rate-setters hold their next scheduled meeting in November. 

'Remember, more than two million homeowners on variable rate mortgages are already reeling following seven successive increases in the base rate since last December. 

'Millions more on fixed rate deals will find their repayments have skyrocketed when it comes time for them to re-mortgage.'

How will those with fixed rate mortgages be affected? 

Homeowners on a 'fixed' mortgage pay back their loans on an agreed interest rate over a certain period of time. 

It means that any changes the Bank of England makes to the base rate will not affect them until the end of their fixed period. 

However there are 1.8million borrowers who are currently locked into cheap fixed deals which are due expire over the next year.

They now face paying thousands of pounds more a year when they come to remortgage as lenders frantically hike rates to reflect analysts' predictions. 

For example, someone who took out a £200,000 two-year fixed mortgage in March 2021, when the average rate was 1.5 per cent, would see their annual bill leap by £7,000 if rates rise to 6 per cent, according to figures from investment firm AJ Bell.

In December the average rate for a two-year fix was 2.34 per cent, it is now 4.33 per cent. 

As of last year, around 75 per cent of homeowners had fixed rate mortgages, with almost half of these (45 per cent) locking in for five years.  

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, but the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike

The Pound fell dramatically in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget, but the Bank of England stopped short of an emergency interest rate hike

How will homeowners with a variable rate mortgage be affected?  

Homeowners with standard variable rate mortgages are at risk as the Bank of England raises rates. 

Mortgage lenders set their own standard variable rates and do not automatically have to pass on base rate movements, but many will pass on Bank of England rises to their SVRs. 

Borrowers with base rate tracker mortgages will automatically see their mortgage rate change in line with Bank of England moves. 

The average Standard Variable Rate in December was 4.4 per cent and that had risen to 5.4 per cent in September, according to Moneyfacts, before last week's 0.5 percentage point base rate rise.

For a £250,00 mortgage, the cost in December was £1,375 a month, but this has now climbed to £1,521; costing £1,752 more annually.

Those with larger loans for £350,000 will have been charged £1,926 a month in December 2021, but £2,129 for the same deal this month. This comes to an additional £2,426 a year.

How will first time buyers be impacted? 

The average first time buyer will face monthly repayments upwards of £1,100 once banks pass on the latest interest rate rises, property portal RightMove has said. 

That figure is a third more than they were paying in January. 

It means it will be more difficult for people get onto the property ladder, as they will need to prove they can pay back the higher amounts. 

First-time buyers are now spending more than an estimated 40 per cent of their monthly salary on mortgages, the highest proportion since November 2012.  

On average, a first-time buyer will now need to stump up £22,400 (assuming a 10 per cent deposit) if they want to buy a home - representing a 57 per cent increase in a decade, in which wages have risen by just under a

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