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Date TimeNovember 02, 2017
VoiceBRITISH homeowners will be less affected by today's 0.5% interest rate rise than in the past, however the hike could risk denting economic growth, argue industry experts.



Leading building society Nationwide has claimed that UK households have less to fear from a rise in interest rates as the majority of recent mortgages were taken out on fixed rates.
In its monthly UK house price report, the building society said that the number of people taking out mortgages on a variable rate – which are often subject to movements in the Bank of England base rate – was at a record low.
A spokesman said: “The proportion of borrowers directly impacted by a rate rise will be smaller than in the past, in part because the vast majority of new mortgages in recent years were extended on fixed interest rates.
"The share of outstanding mortgages on variable rates (and which are therefore likely to see an increase in payments if the Bank Rate is increased) has fallen to a record low of 40 per cent, down from a peak of 70 per cent in 2001.”

INTEREST RATE RISE won’t hurt homeowners, but could DAMAGE UK ECONOMY

This view was not shared by everyone, however, with Lucy MacDonald of Allianz Global Investors telling the BBC that British homeowners would notice the impact of an increase in interest rates the most.
She said that those with big mortgages "will feel something they've never felt before so that's where any pain will be felt”.
MacDonald also warned that increasing consumer debt was concern in a rising rate environment.
David Coombs, the head of Multi Asset Investments at investment firm Rathbones, went further, arguing that the Bank of England could damage the economy by the 0.5% rise.
He said: "Real wage growth is negative, the housing market has softened and business investment has been listless – there seems to be little left to inject some life into the economy.
“Japan increased interest rates in the late 1980s to pop an inflationary bubble in asset prices. The result was deflation, recession and more than 20 years of poor economic growth.”
He added that in his view, the BoE was “behind the curve” and said: “It should have raised rates years ago when economic growth was stronger. Doing it now could be devastating to income-producing assets in the UK.
“It seems like Dr Carney’s rhetoric is aimed at bolstering the pound and thereby reducing cost-push inflation. But if he fails we could have even greater inflation and a recession at the same time. We remain very underweight the UK.”

INTEREST RATE RISE won’t hurt homeowners, but could DAMAGE UK ECONOMY

Consumer campaign group Positive Money were staging a day of action on falling wages in Threadneedle Street today.
Organisers are calling on policymakers to prioritise measures that will boost incomes rather than a “damaging” rise in interest rates that will hurt millions of struggling households.
Fran Boait, the Executive Director of Positive Money, said: “The UK faces real and urgent economic challenges, but a rate rise will fix none of them.
“Instead of taking the unprecedented move of raising rates when wages aren’t growing, the Bank of England should be working with the Treasury to develop new policy tools which can sustainably boost incomes.”


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