Despite 11 rate rises in successive Monetary Policy Committee meetings, it looks as though there may still be more on the way, on the back of recent economic data. While consumer price inflation (CPI) fell to 10.1 per cent in March from 10.4 per cent in February, the fall was not as great as expected, suggesting inflation is proving to be more stubborn than previously thought. That said, it is still expected to fall away rapidly in the second half of this year, with the Bank of England standing by its forecast that inflation will halve by the end of the year.

Lenders continue to trim their mortgage rates, even though Swap rates, upon which the pricing of fixed-rate mortgages is based, continue to rise. If Swap rates continue to rise, however, lenders will need to choose between profit margins over volume so it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months.

There is good news for first-time buyers with modest deposits as lenders have been cutting rates on high loan-to-value products. However, Right move reports that asking prices for typical first-time buyer homes have hit a record high of £225,000, meaning they are having to pay more than ever. Yet with rents so high, outstripping monthly mortgage payments, Right move says many first-time buyers are deciding to take the plunge anyway and buy.

In order to make the purchase more affordable, there has been an increase in the number of 35 and 40-year mortgage terms, according to trade body UK Finance, with more than double the number of people taking these out since the beginning of last year. A longer term means lower monthly payments, making them more affordable, but you will end up making many more payments so it will cost more in the long run. It’s worth trying to overpay when you can, and perhaps reduce the term when you remortgage if your income position has improved and you are able to.

House price growth continues to edge gently downwards, rather than a significant correction. According to the latest Land Registry/ONS figures, average UK house prices rose by 5.5 per cent in the 12 months to February, down from 6.5 per cent in January. Talk of a collapse in house prices continues to appear wide of the mark, with the shortage of stock for sale supporting values to an extent. However, as more properties come to market this month and next, sellers will need to be realistic in their pricing if they are going to attract a buyer as the latter will be feeling the affordability pinch thanks to higher mortgage rates and the continued elevated cost of living.

Whatever your situation, it is worth seeking mortgage advice. AWS Private Finance is a whole-of-market mortgage broker which can advise as to the best mortgage for your circumstances, whether you are buying a new home or investment property or remortgaging. Get in touch for more information.