Owners reluctant to switch deals

The average home owner would not switch mortgage deals unless they could save 113 a month, research by Sesame reveals.

And more than a quarter of home owners say they would struggle to meet their mortgage payments if interest rates were to rise by another 0.25%.

More than one in 10 respondents to Sesame’s survey say they are already struggling to meet their payments in the aftermath of the four base rate rises since August 2006, and almost twice as many women as men are in this position.

A worrying 20% say they don’t know how many rate rises they can take before they hit trouble.

John Cupis, head of mortgages at Se-same, says: “The rate of house price growth shows little sign of abating and many people are borrowing extreme amounts to secure their dream homes.

“But it is clear that they are paying a high price in more ways than one – inflation is still running well above target and thousands of people could find themselves in severe financial difficulties if the Bank of England decides to raise the base rate again.

He adds: “There is no doubt that buyers need to be more realistic about what they can afford and home owners should be less apathetic about their existing arrangements.”

But Andrew Botte, director of Chase Evans Homeloans, says: “I don’t think people will be too badly affected by a further base rate increase and I don’t expect a significant rise in repossessions as the vast majority of mortgage business is on fixed rate deals.

“I’m not surprised that people are reluctant to switch mortgages as the thought of the paperwork puts them off and the early repayment charges on their existing mortgages act as a further deterrent.”