More consumers looking at tracker rates on Experian

Ryan Bembridge

May 24, 2018

Nearly half of British consumers shopping for mortgages with Experian searched for tracker deals in May, data showed.

The latest figures from the global information services company found 47.6% of its mortgage shoppers looked at trackers – significantly up from 33.5% in April.

But Chris Barker, founder and director of Manchester Money, said his experiences don’t fit the trend.

He said: “ I haven’t spoke to a client looking at tracker deal for a long time. My advice to all my clients is I explain the risk of it. There’s talk of a base rate increasing so it’s always going to be a risk taking a tracker.

“It’s a risk too far for first-time buyers. The last thing they want to see in three months’ time is their mortgage going up.

“I always advise first-time clients to go to a fixed rate because a tracker is too risky for them. On a site like Experian, they might just be looking at cheaper rates and trackers are cheaper. And that’s one reason to speak to a broker and they’ll explain the downfalls of a tracker.

“A lot of people will use comparison sites and look at the cheapest deals but it’s not always about getting the best rates. There’s also criteria issues. Brokers are here to explain to consumers how it works.”

Experian reckoned rhe findings suggested the Bank of England’s decision to hold Base Rate at 0.5% on May 10 has encouraged potential homeowners to consider a tracker as a serious option for their mortgage.

The level of consumers looking at variable mortgages dropped from 35.6% in April to 28.1% in May, while those looking for fixed-term deals fell by almost a quarter, from 31.7% to 24.2%.

Amir Goshtai, managing director of propositions & partnerships, Experian, said: “The increased interest in tracker deals could be seen as a consequence of the Bank of England’s decision to hold interest rates once more.

“We will see if this appeal continues throughout 2018 and what impact any Base Rate rise will have on what mortgage shoppers are looking for.”

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