Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 13/12/2019

After a highly competitive year in the mortgage charts, with just a few weeks left of 2019 competition seems to have eased at the top of the charts with no new top rates available this week. Saying this, there are still low mortgage rates available across the charts.

While the rate is important when choosing a mortgage deal, borrows should also take into account other factors when choosing the best deal for their personal circumstances, such as product fees and incentives. It should be noted that the charts below only highlight the lowest rate available and, as such, these might not be the best deal.

Consumers looking to open a savings account this week will find competitive rates available across the chart, however it should be noted that a number of chart-topping fixed rates that were available last week are no longer in the charts. However, there was some good news for those looking to deposit money into an easy access account, as Marcus by Goldman Sachs® did not follow Virgin Money in lowering its chart-topping easy access rate this week.

During 2019, houses have become more affordable in nearly two-thirds of local authority areas in the UK, research carried out by Yorkshire Building Society reveals.

The research found that a combination of stagnating or falling house prices along with rising wages has led to houses becoming more affordable in 233 areas, which in some areas has seen a 20% increase in housing affordability compared to a year ago.

Saying this, it was not good news for all first-time buyers, as homes in 132 local authority areas became less affordable than a year ago. This, according to Yorkshire Building Society, is mainly due to house prices rising more quickly than wage increases in these areas.

Nitesh Patel, strategic economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “In the past year, we’ve seen house price growth continue to slow, stall completely, or even fall. At the same time, salaries have increased, which means wage growth has begun to catch up with house price growth. This is why we’ve seen more affordable house prices in the vast majority of places.

“This is most striking in London, where six of the capital’s boroughs occupy the 10 largest increases in house price affordability. But it’s important to remember, this is all relative. London still has some way to go before house prices are truly affordable for someone on median earnings.”

He continued: “House prices have grown by an average of 43% since 2009 – twice as fast as earnings (21%) in the same period. The difficulty in affording to buy a home is one reason why house sales have not picked up in the past year, even though some of the key drivers for the housing market remain positive.

The longer-term outlook for people wanting to buy a home remains to be seen. Demand for homeownership is still strong and supply is limited, so over the short-to-medium term, house prices could increase faster than earnings. This may continue to cause issues for home buyers, particularly those buying their first home.”

Consumers looking to open an ISA just before Christmas will find a number of competitive rates available in the ISA charts this week. The top fixed rate from last week was still available on a five year fixed ISA, while highly attractive rates were also available on short-term ISAs as well. Last week’s top-paying easy access ISA from Virgin Money was no longer available this week, but savers will still be able to find competitive rates currently available in the charts.

It should be noted that the rates below are the best rates available on Thursday and, although correct at the time of publishing, they may not be available on Friday. 

The Moneyfacts Weekly Product News is a round-up of the latest products or rate changes to hit the consumer finance market this week. The deals are available right now, but may be subject to change. Find the best product for you.

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