Bank of England holds base rate at 5.25%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 8-1 to keep the base rate at 5. 25% again in March, the fifth consecutive meeting that it has left rates unchanged.

Lisa Parker
March 22, 2024

Today's vote

The MPC first voted to leave the base rate at 5.25% in September last year, and it has remained at this level ever since. There was only one member of the Committee that voted for a cut this month. However, it was the first time that there were no votes for a rate hike since base rate hit the current level last August.

Last month two members had preferred to see another increase to rates so this shift suggests that we may be edging closer to the point when rates could fall. In the meantime the MPC continues to state that inflation must be under control before they will start to reduce rates.

This month’s decision to keep rates on hold at 5.25% came despite the news that inflation eased slightly to 3.40% in the 12 months to February. In its summary the Monetary Policy Committee said inflation is projected to fall to slightly below its 2% target in the second quarter of this year but is expected to increase again slightly in the second half of 2024. Despite this, commentators think it likely that the base rate will remain at 5.25% until June at the earliest, at which point they expect it to reduce.

However, bear in mind that these are only predictions, and no-one knows what the exact trajectory of either interest rates or mortgage rates will be in coming months.

What if my current mortgage deal is ending soon?

Even though interest rates have been left unchanged again this month, if your current mortgage deal is ending soon, it’s well worth reviewing the options available to you as soon as possible, especially as it’s impossible to know what the future holds.

You can usually secure your next mortgage deal six months before you need it to start, and with no clear idea if or when the base rate will be cut, it’s worth taking advantage of competitive mortgage rates that are available now. That way, if mortgage rates start to tick up in coming months, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve already got an offer in place, whereas if they fall, you’ll have time to switch to a better deal if one becomes available.

If you’re not sure which mortgage deals you’re likely to be eligible for, it’s worth seeking professional advice. That will help you understand all the deals you’ll qualify for and can also help review your mortgage again if rates change before your deal starts.

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