Bank of England hikes interest rates by 0.25 pct

POUND BOE

GETTY EXCHANGE RATE The pound has dipped ahead of the BOE meeting today

Thursday's rise brought the official interest rate to 0.5 percent - a level which existed before the June 2016 Brexit referendum.

The truth is that the recent warnings from Bank of England governor Mark Carney and other members of the bank's rate-setting committee of an early increase in rates became self-fulfilling.

'Anybody whose mortgage is linked to either Bank of England base rate, or their lender's standard variable rate, should seek immediate advice on how to reduce the impact of any further increases in the cost of their borrowing.

"The 0.25% lift in the base rate will likely be passed on to borrowers on variable-rate mortgage deals nearly immediately-with a material effect", said Simon Gammon, managing partner at Knight Frank Finance.

For savers, someone with £10,000 saved will collect £25 extra in interest a year.

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Base rate rises have a magnified effect upon landlords, who nearly certainly have an interest-only mortgage, unlike conventional buyers who are forced to have repayment mortgages.

Two quarter-point rate rises will add £67 a month take the cost of a £175,000 mortgage - bad, but probably not catastrophic for most households.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was announced as 3 percent last month.

Sterling fell broadly against the G10 basket Thursday, shedding 1.09% and 1.29% against both its North American and European rivals, leaving the Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate quoted at 1.3109 and the Pound-to-Euro exchange rate marked at 1.1258.

The interest rate hike is less relevant to the prime market, however, since luxury buyers tend to pay all cash. Those who did, tended to borrow only 50% or less of the cost of their home, the brokerage found in its 2015 study. "But the big news is that the Bank is no longer telling markets that their rate expectations are too low", says James Smith, a developed markets economist at ING Group putting his finger on what he believes triggered the bearish reaction in Sterling. They also incentivise foreign investors to transfer their money to United Kingdom banks where it will earn more interest.

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That may go some way to help counteract Mr Carney's reputation - in the words of one British politician - of being an "unreliable boyfriend" who did not live up to previous guidance about higher rates.

If you have a fixed rate mortgage now, interest rate rises won't affect you now but, when it comes to looking for your next deal you may find the interest rates on the market are significantly higher.

"For householders on low incomes, or with poor credit scores, variable rate mortgages presented a viable way to get on the property ladder."

Shaun Church, director at mortgage broker Private Finance, recommended that homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage look to extend terms of their loan.

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