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Interest Rates Hit 15-Year High; 'Mortgage Help' Searches Skyrocket

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As the Bank of England has increased its interest rates from 5% to 5.25% in a new 14th consecutive hike, analysis of Google search data reveals that searches in the United Kingdom are skyrocketing regarding the mortgage crisis, with terms such as 'Mortgage help' exploding by 1,366% in the past seven days.     

The analysis, by mortgage broker L&C Mortgages, reveals the United Kingdom's current searches relating to the current mortgage crisis. According to Google search data analysis, terms such as 'Mortgage help' have exploded to over ten times the average volume, an unprecedented increase in Brits seeking information about the current mortgage crisis.    

Brits seemingly feel lost and want support amid the mortgage chaos, with searches for 'Mortgage help' increasing by 1,366%, following numerous continuous announcements from the Bank of England over the increased base rate, which can also be the main reason for the rise of the UK public searching for ‘Mortgage support' which has seen a 213%  increase in the past 30 days, over double the average volume.    

The data reveals searches for 'How to afford mortgage’ have exploded by 324% in the past five years and 'Remortgage' by 106% in the past 30 days. These searches can reflect the financial stress the current crisis has on the Brits in finding out how to afford the rising costs or considering remortgaging to lower monthly payments. Although you can remortgage at any time, it is best to check for any Early Repayment Charges (ERC) if considering remortgaging before the end of your current mortgage deal.    

The British public is turning to Google for information, predictions, and hope on the future of the crisis as 'When will interest rates go down' has seen a massive 487% search increase and 'When will mortgage rates go down' has a 268% search increase in the past 12 months.  

UK fixed-rate mortgage costs have now soared to a new seven-month high, adding more pressure on the finances of Brits. According to Moneyfacts reports, the average two-year fixed residential mortgage has risen to 6.66%, up from 6.63% on Monday, the 10th of July, the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.   

Figures released by the Bank of England show that almost a million borrowers can expect their mortgage payments to increase by up to £500 a month by 2026, the equivalent of almost a week’s worth of pay for the average employee. This only adds growing pressure on homeowners as Google Trends data shows Brits are searching for the term 'How to pay mortgage' has increased by 186% in the past 30 days.    

The financial pressure has also had a huge impact on renters, as they see their payments rise as buy-to-let landlords pass on the effect of higher mortgage repayments. Brits have noticed the increasing rent costs as Google searches for 'Rent increase' over the past five years in the UK have soared by 235%.  

A spokesperson from L&C Mortgages commented on the findings:    

"The past few weeks have seen the rising mortgage payments and high-interest rates make front page news, with these increases pressuring the finances of millions of borrowers in Britain, triggering a surge of uncertainty about where interest rates will go next.  

However, the latest news has now caused a surge of online interest in those looking to get more information and help on mortgages, interest rates and rent, highlighting the massive impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the British public. There are still plenty of deals available for borrowers looking to switch, but remortgaging a home is a decision that should be made with thorough research and help. 

Some tips to keep in mind during these uncertain times would be to shop around for the best rates available, which can be done online or by using a mortgage broker. Or look to request to extend the term on your mortgage so that you can pay a smaller amount each month but for a longer period. Another option could be to switch to interest-only temporarily; this can reduce the monthly amount of your payments in times of need and financial difficulty. Lastly, if you are struggling for tailored support, talk to your lender to help find the best solution.” 

Source : L&C Mortgages

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07 August 2023

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