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What does the Autumn Statement mean for mortgages?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was revealed on Wednesday, although, as is now commonplace, most of it was revealed in the days before he actually made his way across London with his red briefcase to officially tell the world. But that’s somewhat by the by. We thought we’d (very) briefly sum up what, if anything, it means for the mortgage market. The Office for Budget Responsibility (or OBR as most of us know them) revised their expectation that the pandemic will permanently reduce the size of the UK economy, down to 2% from their previous figure of 3%. If you believe it, it’s good news. This gave the Chancellor more scope for his budget and the market’s response has been very positive. Forgive us for a moment as we (probably) bore you with some technicalities, but they are important. Treasury Yields (a big, high level determiner of fixed rate mortgage pricing) have fallen sharply across the board, with the biggest falls at the long end. This means that the market is now taking a much more positive view of longer term inflationary and interest rate risks. Result. These changes will flow through into swap rates (the actual rates that lenders based their fixed rate pricing on) and should make the aforementioned lenders re-assess any planned increases to the cost of fixed rate mortgages. The picture today Right now, mortgage rates are increasing. A good proportion of lenders have pulled their deals, and some have replaced them with rates that are significantly higher than they were before. However, what we really don’t know just yet is whether this is a long-term direction of travel, or just a short-term move. Is it a jerk of the proverbial knee, or the new world? Our advice is that if you are ready to look at a new mortgage now, or in the immediate future, then it makes sense to act sooner rather than later. But, at the same time, if you’re not quite ready, don’t panic. We simply cannot see, like the markets, the situation becoming significantly worse any time soon. Of course, if you want to find out more and understand what it means for you specifically, you know where we are.

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