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The UK’s most popular mortgage types

The UK’s most popular mortgage types
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Barratt Homes analysed Google keyword data to reveal which types of mortgages are the most searched for in the UK.

The homebuilder surveyed 500 UK homeowners to assess mortgage understanding, revealing which types of mortgages people understood best.

Fixed-rate mortgage

This type of mortgage had average monthly searches of 14,800.

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your repayments will be the same for a set period – typically two to five years. This gives you the certainty of knowing what your repayments will be regardless of changes to the Bank of England base rate or your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

Fixed-rate mortgages are among the most popular mortgage types, accumulating the most average UK monthly searches. However, Barratt found that 32% of homeowners were unfamiliar with this mortgage.


  • Peace of mind that your monthly payments will stay the same
  • Ideal for those on a tight budget looking for stability


  • If interest rates drop, you won’t benefit from lower repayments
  • Exit penalties can be expensive if you want to get out of the deal early

First-time buyer mortgage

This type of mortgage had average monthly searches of 12,100. As the name suggests, these loans are designed for individuals purchasing their first home.

Various mortgage products are specifically targeted at first-time buyers, including low-deposit mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages that offer a stable interest rate for a predetermined period.


  • Typically offers lower deposit requirements compared to other mortgage types
  • Buyers can benefit from government schemes and financial help, such as lifetime ISAs and shared ownership


  • First-time buyers may have to pay higher interest rates compared to those with a larger down payment or a more established credit history
  • Lenders may impose strict eligibility criteria for first-time buyers, making it challenging for those with limited credit history or lower income

Offset mortgage

Offset mortgages had average monthly searches of 9,900. With offset mortgages, you keep your mortgage debt and savings with the same bank or building society. Your savings are then used to reduce – or “offset” – the amount of mortgage interest you’re charged.

Offset mortgages can potentially help reduce the interest you pay. However, Barratt found that 89% of homeowners are unaware of this mortgage type.


  • Offset mortgages can help reduce the amount of interest you pay on a mortgage
  • Offsetting gives you peace of mind to know your savings are working to reduce your mortgage interest


  • Offset mortgages can be more complex to understand and manage
  • Payments on the mortgage may increase if the borrower makes a withdrawal from their offset savings

Tracker mortgage

Tracker mortgages had average monthly searches of 8,100. A tracker mortgage provides an interest rate that may fluctuate, potentially decreasing or increasing, typically staying below the rate of a standard variable rate (SVR) mortgage. Barratt found two in three homeowners are unaware of this mortgage loan.


  • If the base rate falls, your mortgage payment costs will fall
  • Certain tracker mortgages have a cap, meaning the interest rate won’t go beyond a set limit, even if the base rate rises


  • If the base rate increases, your mortgage payments will increase
  • You won’t know how much your repayments will be throughout the entire deal period
  • You might have to pay an early repayment charge if you want to switch before the deal ends

Lifetime mortgage

Lifetime mortgages had average monthly searches of 1,300. This type of mortgage is designed for mature homeowners that allows them to convert a portion of their home equity into tax-free cash, without the need to sell their home, give up ownership, or make monthly mortgage payments.

Barratt found 71% of UK homeowners are unaware of lifetime mortgages


  • A lifetime mortgage provides a tax-free income source, allowing retirees to enhance their cash flow during retirement years
  • Borrowers are not required to make monthly mortgage payments as long as they continue to live in the home


  • Interest on a lifetime mortgage accumulates over time, increasing the loan balance and reducing the homeowner’s equity and reducing the amount of inheritance for family
  • Obtaining a lifetime mortgage could potentially disqualify you from means tested benefits that you would otherwise be eligible for

Adrian MacDiarmid, head of mortgages at Barratt Developments, said: “Choosing the right type of mortgage is important, as it can help save you a lot of money. While a fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular option overall, there are a lot of new products available now tailored to specific buyers.

“A green mortgage, for example, could be a great choice if you’re purchasing an energy-efficient new build home. The many options available mean that it is always a good idea to take advice from a suitably qualified and regulated mortgage adviser who will be able to help you find the product best suited to your own individual circumstances.”