Interest rates remain frozen after MPC monthly vote

By Natasha Adamson

As expected, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted to continue the rate freeze at 0.5 per cent, though the minutes of the meeting will reveal whether there are any members who are starting to favour an increase - those won't be made available for another week or so.

Mark Carney's time as governor at Bank of England started off decisively with a forward guidance policy, but soon returned to the previous uncertainty that surrounded interest rates as a result of a fast improving rate of unemployment and other signs of growth in the economy. Previous suggestions that interest rates would be frozen into 2016 have now been cut dramatically and the latest indications suggest that the first increase could come before the end of this year.

The result of this month's MPC meeting was never in doubt, but economists will wait with interest on the minutes of the meeting which will reveal if any members voted for an increase.

Mortgage borrowers are starting to heed the warnings of an imminent increase in interest rates, with a rise in the number of fixed rate mortgage products being taken out by remortgagors and house purchasers. A widespread negative equity problem in Northern Ireland however, means that many borrowers are unable to switch their mortgage and will be hit with a sizeable increase to their monthly mortgage payments once the first interest rate rise is brought into effect.

If you are buying, selling or remortgaging a house in Northern Ireland, and require a property conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal process for you, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9290.