Thursday, May 10, 2007

Interest rate increases.

It is hard not to feel a slight amount of smugness at our decision two years ago to get a fixed rate mortgage - as of today, we're now at a rate lower than the Bank of England's base rate.

Watching the 10 o'clock news, which has been mostly focussed on the (long overdue) departure of Tony Blair, they did only a short piece on the rate increases. But couldn't the BBC have found a slightly more sympathetic person amongst the millions of home owners for whom the increase is not good news. They interviewed a young woman, who owned what looked like a very nice house in Hertfordshire. She had borrowed five times her salary and the report said that she had an increase of 150 pounds per month over this time last year (there's been a full percentage increase since last August). A quick calculation based on this article indicates that her mortgage must be about 230,000 - or her annual salary is about 46,000. She's worried because shock horror, she might have to take in lodgers.

Funnily enough, I'm not really that sympathetic that she might have to take lodgers - I did it myself in my single days as a deliberate strategy to get a slightly bigger property. And frankly, as a single woman earning that sort of money she's hardly the typical first time buyer. Surely the BBC weren't so distracted by the non news story of Blair's resignation* to not be able to find a better human interest/sob story about the rate rises.

Having said all that, it's faintly ironic the Gazette was carrying a front page article this week about how Brentwood was the most expensive borough in Essex, and expressing concern about the ability of first time buyers to get onto the ladder in the area - and the fact that the lack of first time buyers could be bad news for those of us who already own houses in the area.

* It's not "news" when the papers have been saying all week he's going to resign today.

No comments: