MSE’s Academy of Money
MSE’s Academy of Money

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8 Summary of Session 4

A lot of detail has been covered in this session. The information and skills provided will help you make good decisions when selecting and managing your mortgage.

The image is a line graph of the real value of average house prices from 1981 to 2019. The graph shows average real house prices rising from 1981 until 1989, declining until 1994, steady until 1999 and then rising very sharply until 2009, reaching circa £260,000. After 2009 average real house prices decline and then hover in the range of £200,000 to £240,000 up to 2019. The graph also displays the straight trend line for the entire 1981-2019 period depicting a marked upward gradient.
Figure 9 Average house prices in the UK (in real terms) 1981–2019. Source: Nationwide Building Society (2019).

To sum things up, here are five key tips:

  • Always search for the best deal.
  • Keep your eye on the market and monitor how mortgage rates are moving.
  • Be prepared to remortgage – and not just once!
  • Don’t end up with a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) product. Other variable rate products (trackers and discount mortgages) are usually better. SVR products are the equivalent of energy companies’ standard tariffs – expensive and designed to catch people who don’t switch!
  • Don’t feel obliged to stay with the first mortgage provider just because they lent you money when you first needed a mortgage – it’s a commercial relationship, not a marriage!

The good news is that the trend over many decades has been rising house prices in both cash and real terms (see the graph above) – so your mortgage not only provides a home, but a sound investment too!

Further reading

To learn more about certain of the issues covered in this course you can follow these links to the MoneySavingExpert site:

The housing market is an important part of the economy. Understanding how it works can help you make better-informed decisions about your finances. To find out more, MoneySavingExpert recommends you visit the Bank of England’s Knowledge Bank site, which includes sections on:

Go now to Session 5: Saving and investing.

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