Banks and building societies have broadly got to grips with the tougher new mortgage rules introduced in April 2014.
These produced a marked slowdown in lending and home sales but transactions have now risen back towards the level they were at previously.
Getting a mortgage is tougher though. You will need to get your finances in order and be prepared for the lengthier application process and in-depth affordability interviews getting a mortgage require nowadays. Lenders also apply different standards to what they will lend. Weigh up the above, check the rates below and in our best buy tables, have a scout around what the best deals look like – and speak to a good independent broker.
There are a couple of things to look out for if you do decide to fix.
You need to check the bumper arrangement fees are worth paying – if you don’t have a big mortgage you may be better off with a slightly higher rate and lower fee.
It’s wise to also think carefully about whether you expect to move home soon. A good five-year fix should be portable, so you can take it with you.
But your new property will need to be assessed and you might need to borrow extra money, and so your lender could still say no. Getting out of a fix typically requires a hefty hit to the pocket from early repayment charges.
Today’s low rates may stick around, they may even inch a little lower, but they may also be swiftly axed.
If you think you’d kick yourself if you miss out on one, then set aside some time to consider what to do.
Article by Simon Lambert & Sarah Davidson for ThisIsMoney.co.uk