Home Business Mortgages: Customers given 20 minutes to decide on renewal

Mortgages: Customers given 20 minutes to decide on renewal

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Homeowners needing to renew their mortgages are being given just 20 minutes to make a decision or risk losing deals, according to a broker.
Many lenders have been pulling deals from the market this week ahead of an expected rise in interest rates.
Mike Powell, who runs a brokerage in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, said he had to tell the same customer three times the deal they had agreed no longer existed.
The Bank of England is releasing its latest interest rates later.
They are expected to rise from 4.5% to 4.75%, although some have suggested they could reach as high as 5%.
This could mean homeowners face paying hundreds of pounds a month more on their next deal.
Mr Powell said: "You'd spend more time choosing a holiday than you would trying to choose whether this mortgage deal is best for you.
"You're asking clients to make massive decisions, maybe their husband or wife is in work and they want to chat about it. By the time they come back to us the mortgage deal could be gone."
He said the past week had been the most difficult since starting the job 14 years ago, with lenders partially to blame.
He said lenders would historically give two or three days' notice before pulling a deal, but recently many had been removed within hours.
"Lenders, I like to think, could do better. As brokers now we're trying to start a petition to say we need a minimum of 48 hours' notice [before deals are pulled]."
Almost a quarter of fixed-term mortgages in Wales are expected to end this year, data shared with Wales Live shows.
About 36,000 of these – 12% of all 291,000 fixed-term mortgages in Wales – are set to expire in the second half of this year.
One of those is Nicholai Rider, 45, from Denbigh, who said if interest rates continued to rise his family faced either selling their home or going into debt to make ends meet.
He and his wife bought their three-bedroom house in 2021 after finding out they were expecting a second child.
In order to find a home within their budget they opted to buy a property which needed major renovation works, but the rising cost-of-living meant the heating was switched off for most of the winter.
Their current fixed-rate mortgage deal runs until December.
Mr Rider said he expected their mortgage repayments to rise between £300 to £500 a month depending on whether they locked in a rate now by paying a penalty fee.
"It feels like gambling. It really does. It's one of those things where no one can give you an answer because no one knows. It's a constant worry," he said.
Principality, the largest building society in Wales, said about 26,800 of its fixed-term mortgage deals in Wales would end this year – about a third of the approximately 75,000 fixed-rate mortgages on its books in the country.
Niall Jones, 28, decided he needed to lock in a new mortgage deal this week.
Mr Jones, who lives with his wife Natalie and one-year-old daughter Mia, said they had hoped to sell their home in Caerphilly and move before their fixed rate ended, but hadn't received much interest since putting it on the market a few months ago.
"I think we were aware that there was going to be quite an uplift [in our mortgage repayments]. I don't think we were aware quite how much," said Niall.
"When we started getting reminders from a mortgage provider, maybe a couple of months ago, we could have renewed for just over £100 extra a month, but we've now locked in to one which is £170.
"We're going from paying £803 a month to £970."
Wales Live is available on BBC iPlayer
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