85% Of FTBs plump for fixed deals

A whopping 85% of first-time buyers plumped for fixed rate mortgages in January, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed. This is the highest number yet seen in a single month.

The CML believes the threat of another base rate rise has prompted more first-time buyers and home movers to choose fixed rate deals.

It says another reason for the popularity of fixed rates is that their pricing is more attractive than that of variable rates.

CML figures reveal that the average interest rate on fixed products hit 5.27% in January, lower than that on variable deals which stood at 5.54%.

The data also shows that fixed rate mortgages accounted for 72% of new loans in January – the highest proportion since January 2006 and up from 69% in December.

Michael Coogan, director- general of the CML says: “Increasing numbers of people, especially first-time buyers, are opting for fixed rate mortgages. Each month it seems the prospect of a base rate rise is balanced on a knife-edge.

“More borrowers are protecting themselves against this risk and choosing the certainty of fixing their monthly payments, allowing them to plan ahead.”

Andrew Montlake, partner at Cobalt Capital, is not surprised that more first-timers are choosing to fix.

He says: “We have seen a growing number of clients expressing interest in fixed rate deals, especially as it is unclear how much further base rates will rise.

“First-timers are especially cautious and tend to be borrowing to-wards the limit of their affordability because of rising house prices. Therefore, fixed rates are usually the correct advice.”