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Five-year fixed rate mortgages now more popular than shorter term deals

Preference for longer-term mortgage products overtakes two-year deals for the first time

  • Preference for initial product term of five years or more overtakes two year deals for first time
  • 48% of mortgages written in Q4 2017 were for five years or more, 40% were two-year products
  • Fixed rate mortgage products hit another record high at 91% of all cases

The preference for longer-term mortgage products has overtaken two-year deals for the first time, with 48% of applications reported at five years or more in Q4 2017, according to Paragon’s latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index report, based on interviews with 198 mortgage intermediaries.

That represents an increase of 7% on Q3 2017 and 15% on the same period 12 months earlier, as the preference for longer-term fixed products continues to grow in popularity.

Conversely, two-year terms, which have been the overwhelming preference over the last five years, made up 40% of fixed and tracker cases in Q4 2017, down 7% on the previous quarter and 14% on its peak, achieved in Q3 2013 and Q3 2014.

This comes as the overall preference for fixed rate mortgage products hit another all-time high, the second in successive quarters and third in 12 months, up 2% to 91% of all cases. The preference for tracker products reached another all-time low in Q4 2017, down to 7% from 9% in Q3.

In buy-to-let, remortgaging continues to drive the market, with the proportion of buy-to-let remortgages back up to 52% in Q4 2017, continuing a steep rise in remortgaging, up from 28% following the global financial crisis.

Despite a marginal decline in Q4 2017, the principal reason for obtaining a buy-to-let remortgage is still for a better interest rate, making up 55% of all cases. 35% of landlords, the lowest figure recorded, used a buy-to-let remortgage to raise capital in the same period, as the disparity widens between the two reasons that were level at 45% just two years ago.

John Heron, Managing Director of Mortgages at Paragon said:

The results of our latest intermediary research highlight the overwhelming preference that the market has for fixed rate products and increasingly for longer term fixed rate products. Much of this is driven by the understandable requirement that landlords have for payment stability into the future against an uncertain economic backdrop.

06 March 2018