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Big mortgage lenders’ default rates cheaper than average two-year fix

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Homeowners coming to the end of their current mortgage deal could find their lender’s standard rate is cheaper than the average two-year fix, research suggests.

A total of 600,000 fixed rate deals are due to expire in H2 2022, while 1.8 million are set to expire over the course of 2023.

As interest rates rocket, those coming to the end of their current deal will see their monthly mortgage payments spike.

Traditionally, fixed rate mortgage deals are cheaper than a lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

But research from comparison site Comparethemarket and its partner L&C Mortgages, found the average SVR of the top five banks (Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group including Halifax, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest and Santander) was 5.44% as of 7 October, which is lower than the average two-year fixed mortgage rate of 6%.

It also found that around 55% of homeowners will see the fixed rate period of their mortgage end in three years, putting them at risk of a payment shock if they refinance onto higher rates.

A poll of 2,023 mortgage holders found 89% of homeowners whose deal will end soon were worried about rising rates pushing up their mortgage payments. Additionally, nine in 10 had concerns this would impact their ability to pay household bills.

The survey found that 71% of respondents will remortgage when their fixed term ends. However, 15% do not plan to, meaning they will move on to their lender’s SVR.

Meanwhile, a quarter of those surveyed were not on a fixed rate mortgage deal and of those, 16% are already on an SVR.

Big repayment shock

Alex Hasty, director at Comparethemarket, said: “We understand it is an uncertain and difficult time for many homeowners, as SVR and fixed term rates rise, the number of mortgage products fluctuates, and the cost-of-living crisis deepens. Those soon coming to the end of their fixed rate deal are likely to face a big repayment shock, even if they’re remortgaging. 

“For these homeowners, it is best practice to remortgage rather than switch onto your lender’s higher SVR. It’s important to compare mortgage products online – checking the available deals now and staying aware of what is happening in the market will help you to prepare your budget and save for the future.”