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Halifax throws “a massive mortgage curveball” defying rivals

Halifax moved entirely in the opposite direction to its rivals at the very end of last week, cutting rates instead of hiking them.

The reduced rates on selected fixed-rate products including homebuyer products such as those for first-time buyers, large loans, New Build, and Affordable Housing including Shared Equity/Shared Ownership, plus corresponding Green Home products.

Remortgage products will also see reductions in rates for large loans, Affordable Housing, and equivalent Green Home products.


Once again Newspage got reaction from brokers as they took in the unexpected news.

“Halifax is well and truly smacking the competition right now. They have an appetite to remain the UK’s number one mortgage lender” explains Imran Hussain of Harmony Financial Services. “While others are going one way, Halifax are going the other. Halifax must be seeing this as an opportunity to sweep up business, especially as they have the functions in place to actually service the business they receive” he adds.

Gary Boakes, director at Verve Financial, sees it this way: “Opportunity knocks, with Halifax clearly seeing the current climate as a great opportunity to increase their market share. With other lenders increasing rates today and this week, this is a great response and fantastic publicity. Even if the rates are just 0.1% lower, the extra business and positive news will be worth the potential cut in their margins. A tactical move timed perfectly. Well done Halifax.”

Surprise isn’t the word for Michelle Lawson, director at Lawson Financial, who cannot understand the switchback of mortgage providers’ actions.  “The mortgage market appears to have left the realm of reason. The messages emerging from lenders are way beyond mixed. Whilst rate reductions are good, they are only good if they last and are not countered by a rise tomorrow. This is less a rollercoaster than a ghost ride at the moment” she claims.

Meanwhile Ranald Mitchell, director at Charwin Private Clients, adds: “Halifax has just delivered a massive mortgage curveball … Uncertainty continues to grip the UK housing market as mortgage rates fluctuate. In a tumultuous turn of events, the UK housing market finds itself ensnared in a whirlwind of uncertainty as mortgage rates continue to oscillate unpredictably. This unexpected move has left consumers and industry professionals alike in a state of disarray, grappling with the perplexing question of what direction the market will take next.”

Could it be that Halifax is feeling the pain of reduced business? Craig Fish, director at Lodestone Mortgages and Protection thinks so, and says:  “This move stands out like a sore thumb and shouts out loud that they need some business. They haven’t been priced very well of late, and it’s those lenders that have hiked their rates that have been reaping the rewards of their pricing strategy and winning all the business. Now all eyes on Halifax and exactly what rates they will have on offer. We just hope that these rates have some life in them and won’t be withdrawn in a matter of days.”


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