With over sixty years of joint experience in the property market, Isle of Wight estate agents Keith Trigg and Simon Meek are the experts in our new-for-2024, County Press Property Clinic. The pair are offering advice and opinion and are on hand to answer your questions about mortgages, moving and more.

This week, mortgages and mould...

2024's outlook is much brighter, thanks to a trio of financial tailwinds. A better-than-expected drop in inflation at the end of 2023, the Bank of England voting against interest rate rises (for now) and an easing of swap rates has led to better value mortgages being offered to borrowers.

The latter – swap rates – are particularly important as they are used by lenders to price fixed rate mortgages.   

In the last few weeks, several High Street banks and specialist lenders have cut the rates attached to their products, including Halifax, HSBC UK, First Direct and TSB.

As well as decreasing rates, there is extra good news when it comes to product choice.

Analysis by Moneyfacts revealed 2024 started with the biggest choice of home loans in more than 15 years.

The financial information source noted 5,899 mortgage products across all deposit sizes, at the start of January. This figure is up from 5,694 at the start of December.

Those with 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 40 per cent deposits all had more mortgages to choose from, last month.

In addition, deals are sticking around longer, which gives borrowers more time to lock in.

Just a year ago, in January 2023, the average lifespan of a mortgage was 15 days before it was pulled by the lender.

In July 2023, the picture had declined and a typical mortgage product was available for just 12 days. Now, conditions have improved and a typical mortgage will stick about for 21 days before it is withdrawn.

Have you got a question for Keith Trigg and Simon Meek of the Isle of Wight County Press Property Clinic?

  • Email editor@iwcp.co.uk and write 'Property Clinic' in the subject line

Making the headlines recently has been the subject of mould.

Some questions to ask include does a property have sufficient heating? Are there trickle vents and are they being opened? Is the property being adequately ventilated? Is washing being dried inside? Are the gutters intact and clear of debris?

Tenants have rights for properties that are not maintained sufficiently, and when the cause is the fabric of the building itself or insufficient heating.

However, they also have a responsibility to manage the environment within the property themselves.