With the Bank of England indicating last week that base rate is likely to stay at 0.5% until at least 2015, the financial press looked at the recent flurry of interest rate increases and whether this is likely to continue. The Observer reported that industry experts believe mortgage rates could still rise due to the withdrawal of the Funding for Lending initiative and the introduction of stricter lending criteria this year. Best buy rates are still available under 3%, and The Mail Sunday revealed that demand for five year fixed rate deals has picked up as borrowers try to secure the best rates before they disappear.
There was good news for First Time Buyers in the Sunday Express, with figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing a 37% increase in first-time lending last year. Brokers suggested a growing level of confidence in this area of the market, with the Help to Buy scheme opening up options for borrowers.
Elsewhere the Financial Times reported an 18.6% increase in Buy-to-Let lending in 2103, and looked at lenders such as the Post Office who are re-entering the market.