Five years on: 0.5 per cent base rate - The effect on the UK mortgage and savings market

POSTED: 5th March 2014
IN: Newsroom

Five years to the day since the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates to an all-time record low of 0.5 per cent has profoundly transformed the UK’s saving and housing markets. Aldermore Bank’s savings and mortgage experts give their thoughts on what the rates have led to.

Commenting on the saving market, Simon Healy, MD for Savings at Aldermore said:"The past five years have been unique because it's the first time savers have had to go such a long time enduring negative real rates of return after tax and inflation are taken into account.

"Some savings accounts have paid above inflation returns for short periods, but in order to simply preserve the value of their cash, savers would have had to chop and change accounts on an unbearably frequent basis meaning it's been virtually impossible to achieve a positive net rate of return on a consistent basis over the past five years.  

"This has created fertile ground for organisations to launch gimmicks such as bonuses and teaser rates which have successfully lured many savers in, but have proved so confusing and dubious in value over the longer term that they have led to an investigation by the regulator."

"For borrowers, low-base rates have allowed many to pay-off their mortgage or buy their first home, but for savers, long-term low-base rates have been damaging. Pensioners cannot rely on their fixed-incomes and those approaching retirement are finding it increasingly difficult to top up substantially before they stop working. 

"Statistics show that countries with higher saving ratios have lower debts and are socially more responsible. It would be a desperate state of affairs if we lost the value of saving in this country."

Charles Haresnape, MD for Residential Mortgages added:"Funding for Lending, Help to Buy and NewBuy have been schemes used by the Government to rebuild the housing market post-crash. However, keeping rates low at 0.5 per cent has also had a great impact in driving the housing market over the past five years.

"First-time buyers have been able to get a mortgage at record low rates with smaller deposits, while landlords and ordinary homeowners have been able to remortgage their properties and save thousands. Homeowners should continue to take advantage of low interest rates for as long as they can by overpaying their mortgages as much as possible."


For further information journalists can contact:

Adam Taylor

Office: 0207 297 5971


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