UK Property Professionals React To Base Rate Decision

  • 14 years ago
  • Uncategorized

As speculation grows over the forthcoming Budget in the UK the decision to keep the base rate on hold at 0.5% has been met with little surprise by property professionals. The  decision by the Bank of England’s Monetary Committee means the rate has been on hold for the fifteenth month running.


Head of Knight Frank Finance, which specialises in mortgages over £1m.

“Today’s announcement was very predictable as in fewer than two weeks we will find out what the Chancellor George Osborne has in store for the country when he presents his emergency budget to parliament.

Judging by the cost-cutting measures that we have already seen and the recent comments from David Cameron about the state of the UK’s public finances, I think we can look forward to some pretty tough measures in the budget. This will set the scene for the UK’s continued economic recovery and will give us a better idea of when we might start to see rates rise again. The longer term view is that interest rates will rise considerably from their current record low, and seriously considering a fixed rate for your mortgage now is very important.

Even if rates seem unlikely to change for the next six months it is worth keeping in close contact with your mortgage adviser. There are currently some very competitive five-year fixed deals available, but these could quickly disappear, especially at the first rate rise.

If you are thinking about taking a new mortgage or renewing your existing arrangements at the current time it could pay to talk to an expert so you are ready to move quickly to secure the best rate.”

Rob Bruce, Head of Residential Research at Jones Lang LaSalle, commented:

“Consumer confidence is weak and mortgage lending remains at a very rationed level. Thus far, lending in Q2 has underperformed expectations at £490 million in April, according to the CML, as opposed to market predictions around £700 million. Lending levels once again lag the 6-month average. Altering the base rate at present would damage the fragile recovery in house prices.”

“While base rates are one-tenth of the level seen two years ago the standard variable rate at which mortgages are available represents, on average, 60% of the rate two years ago. This disconnect in the cost of borrowing twinned to uncertainty in the future around economic stability leaves lending at a depressed level.”

“However, the UK continues to attract international investment, with almost three-quarters of the buyer’s interested in Prime Central London properties coming from overseas. While the devaluation of the Euro has put pressure on continental buyers we continue to see acquisitive US, Chinese and other Far-Eastern purchasers. Many of these buyers can capitalise on local currency gains in excess of 30% against sterling when viewed over a 3-year time frame.”


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