Mortgage rates on the rise againMortgage lenders have started to raise rates

23 September 2008

A mortgage file holder

Fees to exit your mortgage should be proportionate to the real admin costs.

Mortgage rates have resumed their upward path, with one lender raising the cost of its deals by up to 1.6%.

Other lenders are expected to follow suit and raise the cost of their fixed rate and tracker deals this week after a key inter-bank lending rate hit a five month high on Friday.

First National, part of GE Money, announced it was raising its rates across the board by 1.6% for people borrowing more than 80% of their home's value and by 0.8% for those borrowing less than 80%.

At the same time iGroup, which is part of the same group, said it was hiking its deals by 1.7% for people with less than a 20% deposit and by 1.1% for those who had at least a 20% one.

The lenders, which operate in the non-conforming or 'sub-prime' market, also announced that anyone who had already submitted a mortgage application would have to pay the new rates unless they could complete their deal by October 3, angering brokers.

 

Mainstream lenders are set to follow

Other lenders across the mainstream mortgage market are also expected to raise their rates in the coming fortnight, bringing to an end a period of falls in the cost of home loans, which had seen the average two-year fixed rate deal return to its pre-credit crunch level.

One of the key inter-bank lending rates, three-month Libor, continued its upward climb on Friday to reach 6% - its highest level since April 3, when the Bank of England base rate was 0.25% higher.

The rate has now increased by just under 0.3% since last Friday, although the latest rise was a more muted 0.02%, suggesting it may have found its level in the current environment.

At the same time swap rates, upon which fixed rate deals are based, have also risen sharply during the past week, with two-year swaps expected to end Friday at more than 5.6%, having begun the week at 5.2%.

 

Intervention by central banks may help

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, said: "It is inevitable that we will see lenders raising rates on trackers in the next couple of weeks, and putting their fixed rates up too."

He said: "The fact that it is below base rate would indicate that the actions of the central banks in flooding the market with liquidity is having some effect." Check out the best deals available using the Which? mortgage calculator.