Consumers 'cautious over interest rates'

23 August 2007
Consumers are exercising caution over interest rates according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) with a record number of new property buyers opting for fixed-rate mortgage deals.

CML figures indicate that a record number of first-time buyers (FTBs) are taking out fixed-rte mortgages, reflecting a level of caution over potential base rate rises in the future.

With rates having been increased five times since last year and the effects beginning to be felt in the housing market, many consumers are concerned that further increases could put affordability at full stretch.

Subsequently, many borrowers are seeking insulation from future potential increases by choosing fixed-rate deals. CML reports that 90 per cent of FTBs took out a fixed-rate in June this year.

"Clearly people are anticipating further rate rises and are wanting to lock into the certainty that a fixed rate mortgage provides," commented CML spokesperson Christopher Dean.

The base rate is currently sitting at 5.75 per cent, and it has been speculated that the Bank of England could vote on an increase in the coming months.

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