Mortgage borrowers who want certainty about the rate they will pay beyond the next decade are being offered the option to lock into deals lasting for 15 years.
Virgin Money has taken the unusual step of offering 15-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Its new residential range includes a 15-year fixed rate of 3.75% for borrowers with a 10% deposit with no product fee.
For those with larger deposits of 35%, there is a 15-year mortgage at 2.89% with no product fee, or a deal for the same period at a lower rate of 2.55% with a £995 product fee.
The move comes at a time when 10-year fixed rates have become increasingly popular amid economic uncertainty.
Borrowers considering locking into longer-term deals to have certainty over their payments will need to consider whether their circumstances might change during this time.
Andrew Asaam, director of mortgages at Virgin Money, said: “Fixed rates of longer than 10 years are not generally available in the UK market but, given the economic backdrop, they can be a perfect choice for borrowers who are looking for longer interest rate certainty.”
Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said Leeds Building Society also offers a retirement interest-only product lasting 15 years.
Ms Springall said she was also aware of 15-year deals being offered by other lenders in the past.
She said: “It’s highly unusual to see a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage on the market today but this term may appeal to borrowers who want to secure a rate for the longer term.”
She said there could well be consumers who feel concerned about economic uncertainties and any impact to their finances – so they may wish to lock down into a competitive mortgage rate to weather any storm.
“Fifteen-year fixed mortgages have been seen before in the UK, but generally there were very few lenders to offer them,” she added.
“However, it’s not impossible for this niche term to gain some attention – as it is worth remembering that 10-year fixed mortgages have boomed over the past five years or so and there now are now over 150 options to choose from.”
Chris Sykes, a mortgage consultant at broker Private Finance, said: “The launch demonstrates just how innovative lenders are prepared to be to maintain their competitive edge as the battle for new business intensifies.”
He continued: “A 15-year fix is a considerable commitment and therefore won’t be suitable for everyone.
“Those anticipating a move within this time-frame will likely be suited to a shorter-term product.
“However, home owners in their ‘forever home’ looking for a way to guarantee their monthly repayments may well be tempted by the prospect of financial security that lasts beyond the next decade, particularly in today’s uncertain times.”