The midweek mortgage press was full of optimism after several lenders made further reductions to their rates this week. The Daily Mail reported that HSBC, Abbey, Cheltenham & Gloucester and the Yorkshire Building Society all trimmed some of their fixed-rate mortgages. Furthermore, today Halifax launches a rate guard to its tracker mortgages so borrowers can move to a fixed rate without penalties. The paper also listed falling house prices and better mortgage rates as reasons to be cheerful in the current economic climate.
The Daily Express revealed that plunging house prices will leave one in every five homeowners in negative equity and looked at how worried borrowers can save themselves from the pitfalls. Overpaying the mortgage, extending the term and switching to an interest-only repayment method were just some of the advice that experts gave.
Finally, the Daily Mirror reported that just 17,000 people bought their first homes in July, down five per cent from June and 48 per cent lower than a year ago. In addition, figures released this week by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors revealed the number of house sales is at a 30-year low.