Halifax launches mortgage at 0.83% amid flurry of rate cutting

Lender to offer ultra-low rate on two-year fixed deal on loans worth up to 60% of home value

Last modified on Sun 8 Aug 2021 09.43 EDT

Halifax has fired the latest salvo in the price war between mortgage lenders with the launch of a two-year fixed-rate deal priced at 0.83%.

The announcement of the ultra-low rate, which is available via mortgage brokers from Monday to those wishing to take out a loan worth up to 60% of the value of their home, comes amid a flurry of rate cutting by some of the UK’s biggest lenders.

Last month, HSBC and TSB both announced two-year mortgages at 0.94% and Nationwide building society became the first to offer a five-year deal below 1%.

Halifax’s mortgage comes with a fee of £1,499 and is available for purchases between £250,000 to £1m.

It joins a rising number of sub-1% deals for borrowers with large deposits.

Rhys Schofield, managing director at broker Peak Mortgages and Protection, said: “Where the UK’s largest mortgage lender goes, others will surely follow.”

But he cautioned: “These headline grabbers often come with significant setup fees and Halifax are about the only high street lender still charging for a basic valuation, which means that for many people the cheapest deal overall often lies elsewhere.”

Lewis Shaw, the founder of broker Shaw Financial Services, said Halifax’s rate was “stupendously low”.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in all the years I’ve been broking,” he said. “What this really tells us isn’t that lenders are wanting a rate war, more that lenders are as keen as mustard to get super low risk business on their books, probably to balance out the higher loan to value lending they’ve had their hands forced into.”

The competition to attract borrowers comes amid signs that Britain’s house price boom is cooling.

Prices rose by 0.4% in July, the first month since buyers in England and Northern Ireland had to contend with a less generous stamp duty holiday, according to data from Halifax released last week.

House prices have risen strongly in the past year, helped by the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to scrap stamp duty on purchases in England and Northern Ireland up to £500,000. The tax break was limited to homes up to £250,000 at the start of July and will revert to £125,000 in October. The holiday has already ended in Scotland and Wales.

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