'Mortgage borrowers are ready for interest rate rise'

By Natasha Adamson

Most mortgage borrowers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are prepared to deal with an interest rate increase, according to senior mortgage industry figures.

The comments were made in reaction to recent reports that suggested that a third of households would struggle to cope with a 1 per cent increase in interest rates, with 1 in 10 property owners saying it would put them into financial difficulties. However, head of mortgage policy at the Building Societies Association, Paul Broadhead, says most mortgage borrowers are prepared for a rate increase. He points to the large number of people who are switching to fixed rate mortgages, which he says is indicative of planning and preparation by property owners to deal with a future interest rate rise.

Mr Broadhead also cites the Mortgage Market Review introduced in April which means that the finances of thousands of mortgage borrowers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK have already undergone stress tests to make sure they could withstand an interest rate increase. He accepts that some property owners will struggle, and that an increase will "mean tightening of belts", but he feels that on the whole "people are prepared for it and people will have the ability to adjust".

If you are buying a property in Northern Ireland, or selling or remortgaging your existing house, contact one of the conveyancing solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9290.

Or for more information about property conveyancing in Northern Ireland click here.