43% of estate agents have seen a rise in the number of customers forced to sell their homes to pay off interest-only mortgage debts in the past two years, according to research. The research also found that 73% who are looking to downsize are older customers trying to pay off mortgage debt. There is growing demand for potential solutions to interest-only mortgage repayment issues, such as lifetime mortgages, but just 50% of estate agents believing they know enough about the plans.
The gap between women’s and men’s annual average expected retirement incomes in 2017 has grown by £1,000 in the last year, according to Prudential data. Women expecting to retire this year will be £6,400 a year worse off on average than their male counterparts, and nearly £200 a year worse off than women who retired in 2016.
The governor of the Bank of England says weak wage growth and Brexit uncertainty are barriers to a rate rise as pressure builds. The Bank's governor told a City audience "now is not yet the time" to raise borrowing costs to combat Brexit-linked inflationary pressures. His main concern was the potential impact on business sentiment and consumers, as wage growth lags the pace of price increases - driven up by higher import costs since the collapse in sterling's value after last year's EU referendum.
The Bank of England came the closest it has come in the past six years to raising interest rates when three members of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted in favour of increasing borrowing costs. But the vote was still strongly against a shift in policy. With the most consistent rates hawk on the committee due to leave after this month's meeting, analysts reckon rates are going nowhere fast.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted by a majority of 5-3 to maintain Bank Rate at 0.25%. Three member, Kristin Forbes, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, voted to increase Bank Rate by 25 basis points. The meeting is Forbes' last before she completes her three year term on the committee at the end of this month.