Cost of living - latest: Three major lenders slash mortgage rates (2023)

Key points
  • Three major mortgage lenders slash rates
  • Housing insecurity becoming mainstream | Paul Kelso
  • Will interest rates rise this week and, if so, by how much? Economist predictions
  • Co-op introduces cheaper prices for loyalty scheme members
  • Use our spending calculator to see which prices have gone up or down
  • Read more:Why renters are more vulnerable to interest rate rises than mortgage holders
  • Live reporting by Jess Sharp


Have you been badly affected by rising interest rates?

Have you been badly impacted by the 13 straight hikes in interest rates? Are you struggling to pay your mortgage or rent?

You cansend us a message on WhatsAppif you would like to be featured or have any information.

By sending us your video footage/photographs/audio you agree we can broadcast, publish and edit the material and pass it on to others for similar use in any media worldwide, without any payment being due to you. Please do not submit your contribution unless you accept this.


Struggling with the cost of school uniform? You might be eligible for up to £200 of support

The start of the new school term is drawing closer, and for many families that means heading out to buy fresh uniforms.

Parents of secondary school children spend around £422 per year on uniforms, while those with younger children fork out around £287, according to The Children's Society.

This is despite schools in England being tasked to review uniform policies and reduce costs from September 2022.

But did you know there are grants available to help those struggling?

Councils across the country are offering up to £200 to help families shoulder the cost.

Local authorities can set their own eligibility criteria, but MoneySavingExpert said the minimum requirement is generally that people qualify for means-tested free school meals.

In Northern Ireland and Wales, all councils offer a grant which can be applied for online.

Each child can get a maximum of £93.60 towards the cost in Northern Ireland, while Wales offers up to £200.

In England, the amount available varies by council, but you can see a full listhere.

City of London and Wandsworth offer the highest maximum amount at £160.

If you think you might be eligible, it's worth checking what your local council offers and how to claim the assistance - some require you to apply online by a certain date, others issue vouchers automatically.


Prolific shoplifters to face prison under government plans - reports

Shoplifters who repeat offences will be handed mandatory prison sentences under plans being drawn up by the government, according to The Times.

The tougher sentence will also be applied to people who commit burglary, theft, and common assault - all crimes that do not necessarily result in jail time.

The number of offences required for time behind bars would vary according to crime, the newspaper said.

Shoplifting is an issue we've frequently discussed in this blog over the last year - with people stealing because they can't afford to eat, but also shops like Co-op have blamed organised gangs.

Ministers are also in favour of police forces and shops making greater use of facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence, The Times says.

Yesterday, shadow justice secretary Steve Reed told Sky News action needs to be taken to punish people who shoplift, and in "extreme cases" prison time needs to be looked at.

He said he had been told by supermarket staff that police officers were refusing to deal with shoplifters at the store, and they had been advised to "let them get away with, so they don't risk provoking a fight".

"Because of that, there are people coming in and shoplifting to order... and they get away with it scot-free," he said.


Huge competition in rental market sees five people competing over each room

By Joely Santa Cruz and Daniel Dunford, data journalists

Evictions from private rentals can lead to homelessness - and one of the reasons for this is the competition in the rental market.

"We are starting to see a big increase in people needing help and ending up in temporary accommodation because there's nowhere else for them to go," said Jasmine Basran, head of policy and campaigns at homeless charity Crisis.

There are five people competing over every room advertised in house and flat shares on SpareRoom, while Rightmove report a 42% increase in demand for rental properties from 2019 to 2023.

This squeeze on the rental market in England has been driven by both an increase in renters seeking rooms as well as a reduction in the number of rooms available.

Data from SpareRoom shows an additional 69,000 renters are competing over 27,000 fewer rooms compared to 2017.


Asda becomes first supermarket to advertise petrol prices online

Drivers who fill up at Asda petrol stations will no longer need to leave the house to find out how much a tank will set them back.

The supermarket has today started publishing local fuel prices online alongside other key information about each store.

Motorists just need to enter their postcode hereto see where their nearest Asda filling station is, and find out the price per litre of petrol or diesel.

A spokesperson for the firm said the move will help customers find "best value at the pumps".

However, the RAC has said the move will not push retailers to start charging customers "fairer prices", and called for an official monitoring body to be created.

"Real competition is the key, and this is something we are sadly lacking at the moment, other than in Northern Ireland where fuel is more than 4p a litre cheaper than the rest of the UK," said fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

"We don’t believe we're likely to see real change until we have an official price monitoring body, as recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority, that has the power to fine companies that don't properly reflect significant downward wholesale market movements on their forecourts."


Gatwick strikes suspended this weekend after 10.3% pay rise

Planned strikes at Gatwick this weekend have been suspended after baggage handlers accepted an improved pay offer.

The Unite union confirmed the four-day walkout, which was due to start on Friday, had been called off.

Workers for GGS who handle baggage for British Airways voted in favour of a pay deal worth 10.3%.

"This is a significant pay increase for workers at GGS. From the outset our members have been rock solid in their determination to secure a fair pay increase which has resulted in a just settlement," said Unite's general secretary Sharon Graham.

Strike action planned by ground handlers at DHL Ground Handling, ASC and Menzies, had already been called off.

However, further walkouts at the airport are looming.

Unite members at Red Handling, Wilson James and DHL Gatwick Direct, have all voted in favour of strike action in disputes over pay.

If strikes do go ahead, then it will cause substantial disruption and delays at the airport, the union warned.


What are your renting rights?

The cost of living crisis has squeezed renters, who are more likely to be struggling with housing costs than mortgage holders.

Amid reports that private rent prices have spiralled with inflation, what rights do tenants actually have?

Our business correspondent Paul Kelso explains that landlords must follow certain rules around increasing rents - and cannot bump it up whenever they like.

They also need to follow strict guidance around evicting people they no longer want in their property, with tenants able to challenge section 21 notices (so-called "no-fault evictions") that they feel are unjust.

Watch Kelso's full explainer here...


The great cinema snacks rip-off - how Britons are paying a 216% premium

Barbenheimer has reminded many of us how great a trip to the cinema can be - but also how expensive it is.

With ticket prices averaging around £10 per person, and snacks costing roughly the same, some will be looking for cheaper ways to enjoy the latest blockbuster in front of the big screen.

Despite the wide-spread belief that you can't bring your own food and drink into cinemas, you certainly can (providing it isn't hot, smelly or alcoholic).

By doing so, you can save an average of 68% on snacks on a two-person visit, according to Getir.

In fact, by opting for cinema price tags, you'll face spending around 216% more - this is based on buying a large popcorn to share, two regular soft drinks and one sharing bag of chocolate or sweets.

Why have Getir been so generous as to work this out for us? Well, obviously they're trying to promote something.

The online grocery delivery service is offering cinema snack bundles, with two people able to get a large popcorn, two soft drinks and a sharing bag of chocolate/sweets for £5.86.

They say the equivalent cost at cinemas would be £18.52.

We've done a little browsing ourselves and found that, if you're prepared to swig from the same bottle as your companion (or take paper cups), and you are happy to pick it up yourself rather than wait for a delivery, you can get a similar stash even cheaper at Aldi, which is consistently judged as the UK's cheapest supermarket...


Rush to buy during stamp duty holiday means many now face spike in repayments

ByJoely Santa Cruz and Daniel Dunford, data journalists

Interest rates have risen from 0.1% to 5% in the last 18 months, and a Bank of England announcement on Thursday is expected to see rates rise higher still.

Many mortgage payers - those paying variable rates or whose fixed deals have expired - have either been hit with significant rises to their monthly payments or been forced to extend terms, meaning they are paying off the loan more slowly.

And there's more pain still to come, sharply perhaps in coming months - there was a big spike of mortgages arranged before the pandemic-era stamp duty holiday ended - any of those deals that had a two-year fix will be coming to a close around now.


Renter: 'Why should I have to restart again?'

Sticking with our theme today of the struggles facing renters, and research suggests the majority of rented properties are mortgaged, with many on interest-only agreements - making them exposed to rate changes.

It means landlords facing a significant spike in their repayment costs may look to raise rents by more than expected to ensure they aren't losing money.

That's what happened to 51-year-old Andi Michalakis, who has lived in a three-bed house with her 14-year-old son for the past nine years.

After several years of manageable rent rises, her landlord has hiked up the price significantly. She now faces a section 21 "no fault" eviction notice, starting the process of removing her from the place she had made her home for the past decade.

Have a watch of her interview...


Groceries for 1p launched by Iceland - but they're only available online and for 10 days

From today, Iceland customers will be able to purchase different items for a penny every day.

The Holiday 1p Helpers scheme is offering the exclusive deal on the Iceland Bonus Card app - but it is only available for 10 days.

Every 24 hours, a code will be available for shoppers to redeem the selected 1p daily item at the online checkout.

These will be announced on Iceland's Instagram and app.

Today's deal is a pack of Iceland 50pk crispy chicken dippers, which you can claim with the code HH-DIPPERS.

Other upcoming items include, Nestle 14pk KitKat and 10pk of smoked back bacon.

The deals can't be claimed in store, and you can only use one code per transaction - read the full T&Cs here.


What are 30 year mortgage rates today live? ›

View More Rates
52 Week Range
30 Yr. Fixed6.81%7.08%
15 Yr. Fixed6.11%6.38%
5/1 Yr. ARM6.06%6.06%
14 more rows

What are 30 year mortgage rates today vs last year? ›

30 Year Mortgage Rate is at 6.81%, compared to 6.78% last week and 5.54% last year. This is lower than the long term average of 7.74%.

How are mortgage rates right now? ›

If you're looking to refinance your current loan, today's current average interest rate for a 30-year fixed refinance is 7.45%, up 7 basis points over the last week. In addition, the average 15-year fixed refinance interest rate is 6.74%, up 5 basis points over the last seven days.

What are todays interest rates? ›

Current mortgage and refinance rates
ProductInterest rateAPR
30-year fixed-rate6.661%6.737%
20-year fixed-rate6.375%6.479%
15-year fixed-rate5.833%5.959%
10-year fixed-rate5.830%6.015%
5 more rows

Will mortgage interest rates go down in 2023? ›

The National Association of Realtors believes, according to Nadia Evangelou, that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will be about 5.7% on average throughout 2023. Their interest rates forecast predicts rates will likely stabilize below 6% by the summer months at the latest.

What bank has the lowest interest rate for mortgage? ›

Best FHA mortgage rates
  • Better: 4.19%
  • Home Point Financial: 4.25%
  • DHA Mortgage Company: 4.32%
  • Citizens Bank: 4.37%
  • Bank of America: 4.40%
  • Amerisave: 4.41%
  • Rocket: 4.50%
  • Nationstar: 4.54%
Jul 21, 2023

Will interest rates drop again? ›

Chief Economist at First American Financial Corp, Mark Fleming, predicts an interest rate drop may not happen for several months. "Possibly in 2024, but it will depend on the Fed's decisions about raising rates in the second half of the year," says Fleming.

What is the interest rate in Virginia today? ›

Compare today's mortgage and refinance rates in VA
ProductInterest rateAPR
20-year fixed-rate6.757%6.861%
15-year fixed-rate5.969%6.095%
10-year fixed-rate5.839%6.034%
7-year ARM6.940%7.624%
4 more rows

What is the lowest 30-year mortgage rate ever recorded? ›

The lowest recorded rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.65% in January 2021,This was likely due to the effects of COVID-19.

Will mortgage rates come down? ›

Mortgage rates will trend down over the next six to 12 months, and there will be volatility that accompanies this downward trend. Think of it as someone on a downward escalator with a yo-yo, as there will be times when it is increasing, but it ultimately swings back the other way pretty drastically.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 12/18/2023

Views: 5657

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.