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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 22nd March 2021*

Considering the sheer number of mortgage options available on the market today, it can be tricky to know which product is most suitable for you, especially if you’re a first-time buyer (FTB).

Can you afford to take out a mortgage on a repayment basis, or is an interest-only mortgage best for your current financial situation? Should you opt for your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), or go for a fixed rate mortgage?

Fortunately, the experts we work with are best placed to answer all these questions and so much more. To speak to a specialist today, make an online enquiry or speak to us directly on 0808 189 2301.

In the meantime, this article will be covering long term fixed rate mortgages, how long “fixed rates” tend to last, and whether a long term or short term fixed mortgage is best for you.

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How many years do long term fixed mortgage rates usually last?

Two year fixed-rate mortgages have traditionally been the go-to choice for UK borrowers, as a more affordable option than the usual “long term” five-year alternative.

However, there’s been a significant rise in demand for cost-effective, longer term fixed rate mortgages as Brexit-induced uncertainty prompts borrowers to attempt to protect their finances in case of a rise in interest rates.

That being said, the gap in cost between two and five-year fixed-rate mortgage deals has been gradually closing over the last few years, since late 2016.

Rate rises have been particularly prominent in the two-year fixed rate market, meaning longer-term periods are becoming a more attractive prospect to new buyers and remortgagers.

What is the longest fixed rate mortgage in the UK?

As it stands, the longest fixed rate mortgage period offered by lenders is 10 years in this country.

With longer deals becoming increasingly popular, lenders are capitalising on that by offering a wider range of fixed-rate products at lower prices.

According to research, there were just 16 10-year fixed rate deals available on the market in 2014. At the time of writing, there are almost four times that amount on offer.

Should I get a short or long term fixed rate mortgage?

Like all mortgage deals, fixed rates both long and short carry an element of risk, there are advantages and disadvantages attached to them:

Pros of long term fixed rate mortgages

  • Fewer fees – regularly switching deals means fees can add up. For example, if you take out five two-year deals over 10 years, you’ll be paying five times as many fees as you would by taking out a 10-year plan.
  • Beat interest rate rises – more Bank of England (BoE0 base rate rises are predicted, so a longer-term fix guarantees that you can keep your existing rate if this occurs, giving you peace of mind in times of uncertainty.
  • You’re protected if lenders’ criteria change – if your provider makes its eligibility criteria stricter in coming years, a longer deal will protect against this – at least for the length of the fix.
  • You should only be subject to one credit check – every time you apply for a new mortgage deal you’ll be credit checked, and it’s wise to refrain from taking out any form of credit in the months leading up to it. So if you’re remortgaging regularly, a long-term fix is less restrictive.

Cons of long term fixed rate mortgages

  • Risk losing money overall – you could end up paying more by opting for a longer term fix. Again, in times of uncertainty it’s difficult to predict how interest rates will fluctuate. If they fall or stay the same in the long run, you could end up having saved money by taking multiple shorter fixes.
  • Your monthly payments will be higher – at least to begin with. Your interest rates will be higher on a 10-year fix, for example, than on a shorter-term deal, therefore increasing your monthly repayments.
  • You may have to pay a penalty for moving house – although many providers nowadays have a ‘porting’ facility. This means you may be able to keep your mortgage on the same terms if you move (subject to eligibility checks).
  • You may be subject to fees if you pay off the mortgage early – early repayment charges (ERCs) are imposed by the majority of fixed rate providers.

Is a short term fixed rate mortgage a better fit for me?

If you’ve got your mind set on a fixed-set mortgage, it may well be the case that a shorter-term deal is best placed for you – especially in times of such economic uncertainty.

With the prospect of Brexit looming, there’s so much unpredictability surrounding how the base rate could be affected. While this has the potential to work in your favour if you opt for a long-term fix, there’s also a high chance that it may not.

So as not to rush into any decisions that you may regret, you could consider taking out a short (two-year) fixed-rate plan, await the results, and then take out a longer-term fixed deal later on if appropriate.

It’s all down to the level of risk you’re willing to run – but if you’re having any doubts, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online.

Speak to an expert to discuss long term fixed rate mortgages

If you’re still in two minds as to whether a short or long term fixed rate mortgage is most suitable for you, or for any other advice surrounding your home purchase, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The specialists we work with will assess your financial situation and other personal circumstances so as to provide you with bespoke advice on the most suitable next steps for you.

You can submit an online enquiry or give us a call on 0808 189 2301. We only work with 5* accredited advisors, we don’t charge a fee, and there’s absolutely no obligation on your part.

Updated: 22nd March 2021
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2021 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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