Major lenders have announced new mortgage rate cuts, widening the choice for borrowers searching for deals under the five per cent mark.
First Direct announced rate cuts of up to 0.40 percentage points from Tuesday.
Halifax also announced cuts to its mortgage rates by up to 0.46 percentage points from Wednesday.
This includes cutting a five-year fix for borrowers with a 10 per cent deposit by 0.24 percentage points to reach 4.97 per cent.
The lending giant will also be reducing a five-year fix for borrowers with a 40% deposit by 0.20 percentage points, to 4.53 per cent. Both Halifax deals have a £999 fee.
HSBC UK is also expected to make widespread reductions to its mortgage rates on Wednesday. The details have not yet been announced.
First Direct said it is the most substantial round of mortgage rate drops it has made since February this year.
It has also launched two new mortgages for borrowers with a 5% deposit.
First Direct is now offering a rate as low as 4.74 per cent, for new and existing customers looking for a five-year fixed-rate deal, with a 40 per cent deposit.
Liam O’Hara, head of mortgages at First Direct, said: “After today’s rate reductions, several of our mortgage products are now priced under five per cent. Our switcher rates have also been significantly reduced to ensure existing customers have competitive options when looking to re-mortgage.”
He added: “We’re also committed to increasing product availability for those looking to get on the ladder with a smaller deposit, which is why we’re also launching new products in the 95 per cent LTV (loan-to-value) space today.”
Hikes in the Bank of England base rate recently stalled after 14 rises in a row.
According to figures from financial information website Moneyfacts, across all deposit sizes, the average two-year fixed homeowner mortgage rate on the market on Tuesday morning was 6.21%. This was down from an average rate of 6.22 per cent on Monday.
The average five-year fixed homeowner mortgage rate was 5.80 per cent on Tuesday morning, down from an average rate of 5.81 per cent on Monday.
He said: “These rate cuts from First Direct are emblematic of the recent drops in mortgage rates offered by a number of prominent lenders.
“There have been five-year fixed products available at sub-five per cent for a while now, though lowest rates now sit comfortably below that threshold.”
Lewis Shaw, director at Mansfield-based independent mortgage broker, Shaw Financial Services, told website Newspage: “Halifax stepping into the fray once again and dropping rates close to the 4.5% mark will certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.
“Hopefully, this adds some momentum to the market and will trigger other lenders to sharpen their pencils or risk losing out.”
Vicky Shaw – Press Association