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Expat mortgage rate news

The Bank of England has refused to rule out cutting interest rates to below zero to boost the economy, but the move would penalise savers while rewarding homeowners.

The Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, has confirmed that negative interest rates are under “active review” after being questioned by MPs on Wednesday. Speaking at a hearing with the Treasury Select committee he told MPs that the Bank was looking at how effectively other central banks have used negative interest rates. He said “We do not rule things out as a matter of principle. That would be a foolish thing to do. But can I then follow that up by saying that doesn’t mean that we rule things in.”

Policymakers are considering negative interest rates after official figures showed that inflation had fallen to a four-year low of 0.8% in April – well below the Bank’s 2% target. The Bank has already cut the base rate to a record low of 0.1% to help support the economy amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Lower interest rates can be used to help boost the economy as they make it cheaper for households and businesses to borrow money.

Japan’s central bank and the European Central Bank have both already adopted negative interest rates.

How do negative interest rates work?

If a country’s central bank sets its base rate below zero, high street banks must pay to deposit cash with it.

It is an extreme measure designed to encourage banks to lend more money to businesses and consumers in order to stimulate the economy.

For example, if the interest rate goes below zero it will encourage high street banks to offer cheaper loan rates to the public.

How could negative interest rates affect savings?

For savers negative interest rates are huge problem as they will see their cash eroded. This is because they are will be charged by banks to look after their cash. If the bank cuts the base rate below 0% this means further woe for savers who have already seen rates plummet this year.

The situation for savers is desperate and things just continue to get worse. If anyone does offer negative savings rates it would be the big banks, but I do not see it happening. Savers faced with having to pay to keep their money with a provider will find other things to do with it.

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Expats interest rates are down

The average interest rate for two-year and five-year fixed rate mortgages has dropped to the lowest level since records began in 2007.

Why are mortgage interest rates dropping?

The Bank of England has made two emergency cuts to the base rate (the bank’s set interest rate for lending to other banks) in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

These have reduced the base rate to a record low of 0.1%.

This fall in the official cost of borrowing has impacted swap rates (when two different parties swap interest rates), upon which fixed-rate mortgage deals are based.

Lenders have passed on the reduction in their own costs to borrowers.

Despite being able to make mortgage deals cheaper, banks and building societies have had to review the level of risk they take in lending.

This is due to the impact the virus is having on the UK’s economy.

As a result, many lenders have reduced the number of products they offer those borrowing a high proportion of their property’s value. In other words, those who need a mortgage with a high loan-to-value (LTV).

Is it a good time to re-mortgage?

The record-breaking fall in average fixed-rate deals makes it a great time to re-mortgage Especially if your current mortgage deal is coming to an end.

This is the same for those sitting on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

The typical interest rate charged on an SVR is around 4.5%.

This means that expat homeowners could save more than £2000 a year if they switch to an average two-year fixed rate deal, based on a £200,000 mortgage.

Need assistance?

Our professional independent advisers are used to dealing with all types mortgages, they have vast experience in the expat mortgage market.



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Coronavirus – Expats are asking, can I still apply for a mortgage?

Definitely yes! One big difference between the challenges of 2020 and the economic turbulence of 2008’s credit crunch is that there is no issue with the liquidity for banks and building societies.

Expats should review their UK mortgage and potentially save thousands

Make no bones about it, 2020 is the year of the expat re-mortgage. You only need look at the rates being offered by lenders – particularly in the lower LTV bands. These rates are not going to stay this low for much longer so if you have a expat current variable rate mortgage review it sooner rather than later.

Research suggests that over half of all expat borrowers who move to their lender’s standard variable rate after the current deal finishes don’t re-mortgage or product transfer for 10 years, while a quarter of re-mortgagors were said to find the whole re-mortgage process difficult, with 42% saying they didn’t have time to shop around.

The ‘shopping around’ mentality is clearly far more embedded in the UK consumer than ever before, however this doesn’t always translate to mortgage borrowers, even when the savings can be far more than changing utility company or broadband provider.

Expats need to get the message that re-mortgaging is where substantial savings can be made – especially with rates as they are now. Rates are unlikely to remain this low for much longer so acting now could save thousand in the future.

A re-mortgage is not always suitable for everybody as your existing deal may well have penalties attached to change within the discounted period. It is always recommended to seek independent professional help as to what is best advice to suit your needs.

Like to talk over your mortgage needs?

If you are looking to secure a new or re-mortgage please do make contact and one of our independent advisers will be happy to assist.


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The mortgage market for expats

In March 2020 the Bank of England made two emergency cuts to the base rate, The cut from 0.25% to 0.1%, made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, means the base rate is at its lowest level in the Bank’s 325-year history.

In the immediate aftermath of this reduction, banks and building societies withdrew some of their mortgage products.

Among the most common deals to be pulled were tracker mortgages and loans for people borrowing a high percentage of their property’s value.

The good news is that lenders that had pulled products are beginning to launch new deals for both fixed rate and tracker mortgages.

It’s very positive that we are beginning to see providers return products to their ranges and launch new deals, including some in the higher loan-to-value sectors.

These changes may be an early indication that lenders have begun to adapt to the exceptional economic and operational changes of recent weeks in order to continue supporting their customers, and that hopefully more providers will be following suit in the days ahead.

How much choice is there if I am looking for a new mortgage deal?

While the number of deals available for expats has continued to fall since the beginning of April 2020, there are still a good range of mortgages to choose from.

Choice is widest for people with large equity stakes in their homes or big deposits to put down.

Can we help?

If you are looking for a new or re-mortgage please do make contact and one of our qualified independent advisers will be happy to assist.