Bank of England governor Mark Carney has indicated that UK interest rates could rise "at the turn of this year".
In a speech at Lincoln Cathedral, Carney said he expected rates to rise over the next three years, reaching "about half as high as historical averages", or about 2%.
Interest rates have been at 0.5% for more than six years as the UK economy recovers from the financial crisis.
An interest rate rise could deliver a blow to landlords’ finances, especially combined with the reducing of landlord tax relief.
However, Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said Mark Carney has hinted at potential rate rises before yet they haven't happened.
“There is no need to panic, particularly as he has also said that when rates do start rising they will do so slowly and settle at around 2.5%. But inevitably rates will rise at some point so it's important for borrowers to plan ahead.
“If you are on a variable rate, and would struggle to pay your mortgage if rates rose, it is worth locking into a fixed rate.”
Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, agreed that now is the time to switch to a fixed rate. “Once the money markets price in a rate rise, the cost of fixed rates start shooting up so if you want a fixed rate you may want to secure one quickly,” he said, “Five-year fixes look particularly good value but don't fix for that long if there is a chance you might move in two or three years, or you'll be hit with a hefty penalty.”
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