Broker: Consumers favouring long-term fixed-rate mortgages

More homebuyers opted for longer fixed-rate mortgage deals in May to protect themselves against further economic volatility, research has suggested.

Figures published by Mortgage Force, the national broker, have shown that 56 per cent of fixed-rate deals taken out in May featured a borrowing term of at least three years.

Katie Tucker, technical manager at the consultancy, said consumers' attitudes have "turned a corner", with many choosing to commit to longer deals after taking into account their job security and the possibility of further interest rate cuts.

"It seems borrowers are choosing to pay marginally more for a recession buffer that will tide them over for as long as possible," she added.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts gross lending of £145 billion in 2009. Michael Coogan, director general of the industry body, said last month: "It's still too early to spot a clear pattern of recovery in the housing market."

Ms Tucker added that many standard variable rate borrowers are switching to a fixed-rate product when they remortgage to keep their payments low amid the possibility that variable mortgage rates could increase in the future.

Variable-rate mortgage borrowers have seen their repayments fall significantly following interest rate cuts from the Bank of England in response to the economic downturn.

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