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Barclays and HSBC to cut fixed-rate mortgage deals

<span>Analysts say the latest reductions could fire ‘the starting pistol’ on a renewed bout of rate competition among lenders.</span><span>Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA</span>
Analysts say the latest reductions could fire ‘the starting pistol’ on a renewed bout of rate competition among lenders.Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

HSBC and Barclays are cutting rates on their fixed mortgage deals in what some brokers claim could be the start of a “summer of savings” for homebuyers and those looking to remortgage.

Barclays has reduced rates by more than 0.25 percentage points in some cases from Tuesday, and its cuts led to a quick response from HSBC, which said it would be cutting rates across its home loans range with effect from Wednesday.

While new home loan rates have been broadly stable over the last month or two, the pricing of some deals has crept up. However, recent improvements to money market swap rates – which largely determine the pricing of new fixed deals – appear to have prompted two of the biggest mortgage lenders to reduce their rates, with others predicted to follow suit.

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Related: Mortgage of first-time buyer tops £1,000 a month as house prices and rates rise

Mortgage costs have endured a rollercoaster ride over the last two years. The fallout from Liz Truss’s September 2022 mini-budget helped push the prices of many new fixed-rate deals to above 6%. Then, at the start of this year, they dropped sharply, only to later start creeping back up.

Barclays has announced a series of reductions that mean, for example, that a two-year fixed rate for those with a 10%-plus deposit or equity stake that was priced at 5.76% is now being offered at a rate of 5.48%. Another two-year fixed deal that was priced at 5.13% is now on sale at 4.88%.

HSBC’s cuts are across its range, though at the time of writing there were no details of the new rates.

Another lender, MPowered Mortgages, has this week cut rates across its fixed deals range by up to 0.15 percentage points.

Ranald Mitchell, a director at broker firm Charwin Private Clients, said HSBC had initiated a “summer of savings” for mortgage borrowers with its rate cuts, following Barclays’ lead. He added: “As other lenders join the trend, homeowners may finally see the relief they have been seeking, though a broader market shift is still needed to truly spark the housing market.”

Andrew Montlake, the managing director of broker firm Coreco, said that, given inflation fell in May to the Bank of England’s 2% target and the easing of swap rates, these cuts could fire “the starting pistol” on a renewed bout of rate competition among lenders.

The Bank held interest rates at 5.25% for the seventh consecutive time at its latest policy meeting last week, but described the decision as “finely balanced”. That prompted some economists to say the Bank may be preparing the way for a first cut in interest rates at its next meeting in August.

Nicholas Mendes​, a mortgage technical manager at the broker John Charcol, said: “Given that most recent lender repricing has involved increases, there is now potential for reductions. We’ve seen some movement, but this latest reprice from HSBC is certainly going to spur on the market.”

Moneyfacts, the financial data provider, said on Tuesday that the average rate on a new fixed-rate deal lasting for two years was 5.96%, while the typical rate on a new five-year fix was 5.53%. Both of these averages have stayed steady over the past few days.