Mortgage searches up 60 per cent on early December according to Habito

02 Jan 2019 As the nation goes back to work, new data reveals Britons are also heading online for mortgage advice.

The research, conducted by free online mortgage broker, Habito, looked at Google trend data from the last five years across mortgage-related search terms such as ‘mortgage deals’ and ‘best buy mortgages’. 27th December onwards is when internet searches pick up, with 10-15 per cent more traffic than at the start of the month. But, the real search volume hike begins on 2nd January with up to 60 per cent more people looking online for a mortgage deal than start of December.

Long-term financial planning is the flavour of the month in January with searches in categories related to pensions or insurance up significantly by 30 per cent month on month. Web searches relating to shorter-term products such as credit cards or banking services remain consistent.

Daniel Hegarty, CEO at Habito, the free online mortgage broker said: “Christmas costs the average family more than £700, so it’s no wonder homeowners are using the first few weeks of 2019 to look online for where they can make long-term savings.

“With Brexit uncertainty still ongoing, this January looks set to be busier than ever before. The good news is that with interest rates still relatively low and competition between the banks so strong, there are cheap deals to be had – even on longer-term fixed mortgages. We’ve seen a surge in buyers choosing 5+ year fixes since the Autumn, as they try to future-proof their mortgage and lock in the same rate until 2023.”

“But, the biggest savings come from being mortgage-free quicker. If you are in a financial position to do so, you can remortgage to get on a lower rate, but tell your bank you want to keep your monthly payments the same. Effectively, this means your overpayments now count towards lowering your overall balance and you could wipe years and tens of thousands of pounds off your total repayment bill.

Research from the University of Manchester for Habito found that 55 per cent of all British homeowners could save an average of £294 every month by switching their mortgage away from their lender’s standard variable rate – or a huge £3,500 a year.

According to Habito, on a typical £200k mortgage of 25 years, paying 2.5 per cent interest, if you overpaid every month by their suggested savings (£294) you would pay off your mortgage 7 years and 9 months earlier, saving you a whopping £22,803 in interest payments over that time.

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