- Hans Weber
- February 27, 2024
The end of cheap mortgages will come as a shock to thousands of people
The end of cheap mortgages after the expiry of the fixing period, when clients had rates even below two percent, may trap thousands of people. The jump to six-percent mortgage rates monthly might not be sustainable for many families. Their total monthly housing costs will multiply with the high cost of mortgages and the considerable rise in energy prices.
According to estimates, cheap mortgages will end continuously for about 50,000 people. Not all of them had arranged new fixations at the end of last year or the beginning of this year when it was still possible to get rates below three percent. The prudent ones did so for as long as possible.
“The share of ten-year fixings has grown considerably. In April, they accounted for a quarter of all approved loans, while it was under ten percent last year, “Jakub Ryba from FinGO.cz said.
In the first quarter of this year, fixing a running mortgage well in advance was still advantageous. The later the client came, the higher the rate was. But even those who had negotiated rates of around 3.8 to 4.2 percent for the following years “got out of the worst of it.”
One in ten don’t even know when it will come
Some banks allow you to negotiate a new rate up to a year before your current rate expires. Refinancing before the end of the fixation is also an option, and the costs may not be that high. But not only do many clients not know this, but many don’t even realize what it will mean for their budgets if their mortgage suddenly becomes more than three times as expensive.
Furthermore, not only do many people with a mortgage not realize how much of an increase in costs they face with a future rate, but quite a few don’t even know the date by which their rate is locked in. This was shown in a survey by IPSOS. One in ten clients does not know.
Two-fifths of respondents expect their mortgage interest rates to increase after the end of the fixation period. Nevertheless, only 44 percent of people are looking for better offers from other banks, while another third are at least finding out about them in a general way.
According to the survey, a certain percentage of clients foolishly think they will get the same or even a lower rate.
Four out of ten clients are unaware of the possibility of transferring their mortgage to another bank at virtually any time, that is, without having to wait for the very end of the fixation. And half of those who do know about this option believe that transferring their mortgage to another bank at the time of fixation is too expensive. But this need not be the case.
“High refinancing fees don’t have to be the rule. Transferring a mortgage outside the fixation anniversary usually costs bank customers only a few hundred or thousand crowns,” said Humhal.