Mortgage rates could “drop below 4%” before year end, brokers predict as Halifax cuts rates

Hot on the heels of HSBC, Halifax has announced it is reducing its mortgage rates again on Wednesday 15th November. Following the news, one broker said some rates, based on the current direction of travel, could even start with a three before the year is out.

Rate highlights, according to brokers, include a 5-year fix at 4.53% with a £999 fee up to 60% LTV, and a 4.97% 2-year fixed rate with a £999 fee up to 60% LTV.

Brokers welcomed the news. According to Lewis Shaw, director at Mansfield-based independent mortgage broker, Shaw Financial Services: “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.”

Ashley Thomas, director at London-based broker, Magni Finance, suggested rates could even start with a three before 2023 is out: “Lenders are getting more aggressive with rate cuts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see rates drop below 4% by the end of the year. The next inflation data will be crucial for mortgage lenders, and expect a lot of rates to reduce if inflation has dropped significantly.”

Kirsty Wells, director at Saint Leonards-on-Sea-based Blueprint Mortgages & Protection, added: “Rate reduction notification emails from lenders always put a smile on my face. I’m already getting excited for the new year with hopefully continued lower interest rates. I expect to see many more lenders follow suit as the big boys like HSBC and Halifax have both made announcements this week. Keep them coming.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Perkins, managing director at Norwich-based broker, Yellow Brick Mortgages, said he would like to see sub-5% 2-year fixed rates at higher loan-to-values: “These reductions from the UK’s largest mortgage lender keep them in the best deals mix to maintain their market share and hopefully grow it. It’s excellent to see more lenders with 2-year fixed rates under 5%. We now just need to see this filter through to higher loan to values from the current 60% LTV levels they are at present. Which lender is next up to bat?”

Gary Bush, director at the Potters bar-based broker, echoed Perkins: “All we need now is for some more competitive rates in the 90% and 95% LTV brackets and it will create a much-needed boost to the end of 2023 and the start of 2024.”

Darryl Dhoffer, director at Bedford-based broker, The Mortgage Expert, said lenders are scrapping it out: “It’s now crystal clear that lenders are scrapping it out for the last bits of business as we head into the Christmas break. Long may this continue. Let’s hope we start 2024 with the same levels of appetite from lenders.”

But Craig Fish, director at London-based broker, Lodestone Mortgages & Protection, said more focus need to be put on borrowers seeking to remortgage: “The UK’s largest lender has announced some great rates for those looking to purchase, which is a real indication that lenders feel there is positive inflation news incoming. It’s such a shame that there is no focus on helping those who are looking to remortgage, which is where the real help is needed right now.” 
His views were shared by Ranald Mitchell, director at Norwich-based broker, Charwin Private Clients: “Some comparatively strong rates are on offer for those looking to buy, move or who have large loans. Halifax are looking to this sector of the market to get their lending moving, however their remortgage rates have, disappointingly, remained unchanged. With so many people coming to the end of ultra-low rates, I would expect Halifax to be ready and competing to be the least bad option for people considering a remortgage.”

But Imran Hussain, director at Nottingham-based Harmony Financial Services, said this latest round of cuts could give a much-needed boost to the market: “With Halifax dropping rates hot on the heels of HSBC, this could send shockwaves through the lending market and hopefully inject some much-needed momentum into the property market.”