Image of Rhiannon Philps

Rhiannon Philps

Content Writer
Published: 14/03/2024
Mews houses cobbles

Meanwhile, average fixed mortgage rates see a month-on-month increase.


The average shelf-life of a mortgage product dropped to 15 days at the start of March, the lowest this figure has been for six months.

By contrast, mortgage deals were available for an average of 28 days at the start of February, Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report data revealed.

Moreover, with lenders regularly adjusting their deals, average two- and five-year fixed mortgage rates rose between the start of February and the start of March, bringing an end to six months of consecutive falls.

The average two-year fixed rate rose from 5.56% to 5.76%, while the average five-year fixed rate rose from 5.18% to 5.34%.

“Lenders reacted to the change in swap rates, leading to numerous repricing of fixed rate deals, no doubt making it a challenging situation for borrowers and brokers to keep on top of the changes. The rate volatility led to a rise in both the overall average two- and five-year fixed rates, the opposite direction borrowers may well have hoped for after positive rate cuts recorded a month prior,” explained Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.

However, she highlighted that “fixed rates remain lower than at the start of 2024 and there are still some decent options available for borrowers to compare”.

Wider choice of products

In a more positive sign for those looking to take out a mortgage, the number of deals available saw its biggest month-on-month rise in six months and is now at its highest level since March 2008.

There were 6,004 products to choose from at the start of March, compared to 5,787 at the start of February and 4,372 one year ago.

“A deeper dive into the loan-to-value sectors reveals good news for borrowers with limited deposits. Indeed, product choice at 90% loan-to-value rose by 80 deals month-on-month, now at its highest count in four years,” Springall observed.

The number of deals on offer for those with a 10% deposit now stands at 761, while the number of products for those with a 5% deposit also increased from 274 to 318.

However, with average rates on two- and five-year fixed mortgages at 90% LTV rising to 5.99% and 5.49% respectively, it’s still a challenging time for prospective first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

What does the future hold?

While some borrowers may be tempted to wait and see if mortgage rates start to fall again, with the average shelf-life of a mortgage product standing at just 15 days, there’s a risk that they could miss out on a potentially attractive deal if they wait too long.

And, as the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets next week to set the base rate, attention will be focused on its decision to see how this will affect mortgage rates.

With the current uncertainty in the mortgage market, “borrowers would be wise to seek advice if they are looking for a new deal, particularly as the shelf-life of a product remains so unpredictable,” suggested Springall.

Compare mortgage deals

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, moving home or looking to remortgage, you can use our dedicated charts to compare mortgage deals from across the market.


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