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Growing concern over rising mortgage rates

Public concern about mortgage rates and defaulting on payments is high, as illustrated by the nation’s search trends since the start of 2023, research by the debt advisory specialists Sirius Property Finance shows.

On Monday the average rate on a new two-year fixed mortgage reached at 5.72%, according to figures from the financial data provider Moneyfacts, compared with 5.26% at the start of May.

Unsurprisingly it seems some consumers are becoming spooked and financially stretched in the current environment.

Sirius has analysed UK Google Interest Scores for mortgage-related search terms to see what mortgage issues the UK public is most interested in.

When it comes to the most prominent search terms, people are searching for ‘Mortgage Holiday’.

Others are looking to insure themselves in the instance that they can’t afford their payments in the future, with ‘Mortgage Insurance’ also one of the most prevalent search terms with a score of 31.6.

Despite how desperate things already are for so many homeowners, it’s clear that people are still concerned that things will get worse with the Interest Score for ‘Interest Rate Increase’ rising by 344.1% since the start of the year.

Kimberley Gates, head of corporate partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, said: “The nation’s homebuyers are clearly worried about increasing interest rates and the impact they’re having on their mortgage repayments.

“Those who have enjoyed a prolonged period of mortgage affordability are suddenly finding that the cost of borrowing is putting a squeeze on their household finances and they are searching the internet for information on what they can do if they can’t afford to keep up.

“Those who may find themselves in financial turmoil need to know that there is help available to them if their situation is getting on top of them. And while online information is a great way to start, it’s important to go one step further and speak to someone who can offer proper guidance based on your individual situation.”

Someone taking out a two-year fixed rate deal now pays £648 more a year than someone who signed up to the equivalent just over a month ago, based on a typical £200,000 mortgage.