John Phillips is group operations director of Just Mortgages and Spicer Haart
So June the 23rd delivered a momentous decision that few were expecting. The shock has not been the result so much as to how people have behaved subsequently: the Prime Minister has resigned, the labour shadow cabinet has thrown their toys out of the pram regarding the leadership of their party, while Nicola Sturgeon opportunistically wants to fragment the kingdom still further with, ironically, a vote for independence that will make the Scots less independent.
Ultimately however, democracy has taken its course and a vote has been taken, now it is time for everyone to pull together, regardless of political persuasion, or which way you voted. It is time to look to the future of our great country and make it a success. This will only happen by everyone working together to make it so. The more there is division the more that people who want to see the UK fail will start to gain a foothold.
So to the mortgage market. Mortgage rates were dropping for many weeks before the referendum and we had already seen the launch of the lowest ever fixed rate. Lenders have continued to lower interest rates, with a sub 1% rate being launched by HSBC before the referendum, and it looks like rates will not be going up any time soon.
In this respect it seems like what the politicians are forecasting and what is actually happening on the ground is pulling in separate directions and predictions are often little indication of what will actually happen.
In fact it is almost impossible to judge, partly because even the people meant to be making many of the pivotal decisions still do not know what decisions to make themselves. At the time of writing Mark Carney is unsure whether he will need to lower rates to boost spending or whether he will need to raise them as we may have an inflationary situation because the cost of oil will rise, as will other things dependent on the sterling/dollar exchange rate.
While swap rates have been falling for some time, giving banks access to cheap three and six month money, there is a chance that funds further down the line may be more expensive if UK banks find it harder to access money from the money markets. This would raise the cost of mortgages regardless of what the Bank of England does. However, there is certainly no shortage of money to be lent at the moment which is contributing to the incredibly low rates.
Either way this is arguably good news for the mortgage market right now as we may well see the number of remortgages rise. On the one hand we have the lowest mortgage rates we have ever had, on the other there is a prospect that they may rise in three to six months. Both of which mean if ever there has been a time for mortgage brokers to get in touch with their clients, now is it.