Cost of living - latest: Economists predict this week's interest rates decision - as average mortgage rates near 7% (2023)

Key points
  • Will interest rates rise this week and, if so, by how much? Economist predictions
  • 6.5% pay rise accepted by teaching union
  • Ofgem price cap could fall more than predicted, energy analyst says
  • Aldi to remove use by dates from fresh milk
  • Use our spending calculator to see which prices have gone up or down
  • Live reporting by Andy Hayes


Price of wine and spirits goes up tomorrow

The duty on a bottle of wine is rising by 44p tomorrow - something announced a few months ago in the budget.

When combined with a resulting rise in VAT, the real increase per bottle will be 53p, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said in March that a freeze on alcohol duty would end on 1 August and increase in line with the Retail Price Index measure of inflation - which was 10.7% last month.

All types of tipple are therefore affected.

Duty on an 18% cream sherry will go up from £2.98 to £3.85.

Combined with the rise in VAT, it adds up to an increase of more than £1 a bottle, while a bottle of port will go up by more than £1.50.

The total tax on a bottle of gin or vodka will rise by about 90p.

For beer drinkers, Mr Hunt is cutting the duty ondraught pints across the UK by 11p.

It is seen as a measure designed to boost pubs, many of which have been closing.

However, the British Beer and Pub Association said brewers will pay 10.1% more tax on bottles and cans of beer from Tuesday.

It means duty will make up about 30% of the cost of a 500ml bottle.


As one strike ends...

We've just reported an end to strikes in one sector, but disruption is set to continue on the railways.

Train drivers are staging a week-long overtime ban in a dispute over pay, threatening more disruption to rail services.

Members of Aslef at 15 train companies in England will refuse to work overtime from today until Saturday and again from 7-12 August.

The services affected include Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Island Line, LNER, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line, TransPennine Express, and West Midlands Trains.

(Video) Housing data shows that 7% mortgage rates are the 'new normal,' says Compass' Robert Reffkin

Read the full story on this here...


6.5% pay rise accepted by teaching union

Teachers who are members of the National Education Union (NEU) have voted to accept the government's recent pay offer and end the waves of strikes.

The ballot of members saw 85% vote in favour and 15% against, with a turnout of 46%.

Earlier this month, Rishi Sunak announced the government was accepting the pay rise recommended by the independent pay review, which was:

  • A 6.5% pay rise from 1 September;
  • A funding increase for schools of £900m to pay for it;
  • A guarantee that the money will not come from frontline services;
  • A commitment to take measures to reduce the workload on teachers.

The NEU recommended that members accept the pay rise and bring to an end weeks of strikes that saw teachers on picket lines and education disrupted.

In a statement, joint general secretaries of the NEU, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, said that their members "have spoken very clearly and in great numbers" and praised the strike action for having "shifted the dial".

They aded: "The government should be in no doubt that we will hold its feet to the fire on delivering for teachers and support staff on workload and funding and continue to represent the profession in future STRB (pay review) consultations.

"It remains the view of the NEU that school and college funding is far from adequate. It remains a commitment of the NEU to campaign for further increases in teacher pay."

Read this breaking story here...


Holidaymakers being charged £44 in mobile roaming charges

When you're on a foreign holiday, do you use your mobile in the same way that you do at home?

If so, it's worth thinking again.

Some 49% of Britons are unaware that their network provider may be imposing roaming charges, a survey has found.

When travelling to EU countries, this can amount to £2.29 a day, Uswitch Mobiles said.

On average, people who've been caught out were charged an extra £44 for roaming add-ons, it said.

Using your phone while travelling further afield than the EU may incur more significant sums - charges could be as high as £6 per MB of data used.

Almost a third (32%) of those questioned said they'd been hit with roaming charges, with 35 to 44-year-olds being affected the most.

(Video) Homebuyers Quit as Mortgage Rates Surge to 7%


Consumer lending jumps to five-year high as households rely on loans to pay bills

Consumer lending jumped to a five-year high last month as people appeared to rely on loans to pay bills, new data shows.

Net borrowing of consumer credit rose to £1.7bn in June, the highest level since April 2018, according to the Bank of England's Money and Credit report.

Analysts had been expecting it to be almost half a billion pounds lower, at £1.3bn for the month, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics UK.

Borrowing on credit cards remained stable at £600m.

However, other forms of credit, including personal loans and car dealership finance, doubled from £500m in May to £1bn in June, the data reveals.

On a different note, households deposited more cash last month after savings rates went up.

They put an additional £3.4bn into banks and building societies, having withdrawn a net £3.1bn in May.

Mortgage approvals also ticked up unexpectedly in June despite borrowing costs continuing to rise.


Stairwell with 'development potential' for sale in expensive London borough

Fancy living in one of the leafier parts of London but don't really have the finances?

Well now, with a guide price of just £20,000, you could own a "property" in Twickenham, close to the River Thames and not far from the famous rugby stadium.

A stairwell at the back of some shops is going up for auction tomorrow in the posh-ish part of southwest London.

One bedroom flats are on the market there for £500,000.

Estate agent Barnard Marcus says the stairwell has a long leasehold, "development potential" and "full vacant possession".

There is also the "right to lay and maintain utility services over the adjoining rear car park".

There would not be much privacy, however, because the property is clad in glass.

And were we to get a heatwave this summer, it would be like living in a greenhouse.

(Video) Why Mortgage Rates ARE Falling After Fed Raises Rates?


Last day to use un-barcoded stamps - and how you can swap them

Today is your last chance to use stamps without a barcode - with any missing last post this evening set to incur a fee for the recipient.

From 1 August, any item with an old-style stamp will be treated as having insufficient postage and liable for a £1.10 charge.

The changes affect any non-barcoded stamps featuring the late Queen's profile on a plain background.

Any special stamps with a picture on, or Christmas-themed stamps, can still be used even if they don't have a barcode.

For those who have a stash lurking in the kitchen drawer, there's a Royal Mail exchange scheme.

A form needs to be printed from its website - or picked up from a delivery office or Post Office - and the stamps sent to: Freepost SWAP OUT.

There's currently no deadline on the scheme, but it's important to note that Post Offices can't swap the stamps themselves.

Barcoded stamps wereintroduced in February 2022and allow people to watch videos, read messages and view other information from senders.

Royal Mail says they also improve efficiency and allow "added security features".


What are current average mortgage rates?

Average mortgage rates have been on an upward trajectory for months and show no signs of easing.

The average two-year fixed residential mortgage rate is currently 6.81%, Moneyfacts has said.

If you are looking to fix your payments for five years, the rate is almost half a percent lower, at 6.34%.

There is plenty of choice, with 5,029 residential mortgage products currently available, the financial information company said.

If you are interested in a tracker, it puts the average two-year rate at 6.02%.

The average two-year buy-to-let residential mortgage rate is at 6.89%, with the five-year one at 6.73%.

What about savers?

(Video) Money expert Martin Lewis explains the mortgage crisis

If you are prepared to lock in some money for a year, Moneyfacts puts the average savings rate at 5.19%.

For easy access accounts, it is 2.78%.

Turning to ISAs, the average one-year fixed is at 4.98%, with the easy access ISA rate at 2.84%.


Ofgem price cap could fall more than predicted, energy analyst says

Energy market analyst Cornwall Insight is suggesting the Ofgem price cap could fall further than previous predictions have suggested when it is revised in October.

The cap is adjusted every quarter to reflect changes in wholesale prices.

In early July, Cornwall said the cap, which is currently £2,074 a year for households with typical consumption, would fall to £1,878 for the fourth quarter.

It now says it will drop to £1,861.

The first quarter of next year could see a rise, however, with Cornwall upping its estimate from £1,917 to £1,959.

The same has happened for its estimate for April, which has risen from £1,888 to £1,917.


Aldi to remove use by dates from fresh milk

Discount supermarket Aldi is to remove use by dates from its fresh milk and urge customers to use a "sniff test" instead.

The German grocer will add best before dates to its packaging at stores in England and Wales instead by the end of the year.

It's part of an attempt to halve its food waste by 2030.

Almost 300,000 tonnes of milk is wasted by UK households each year because it has not been drunk by the use by date, according to waste reduction charity WRAP.

"We hope shoppers embrace this change and look, smell, and taste their milk to see if it's still fine to use, so together we can reduce the effect food waste has on the environment," said Liz Fox, Aldi's sustainability director.

Last year, the company joined Tesco, Sainsbury's and M&S in removing best before dates on more than 60 fresh fruit and vegetables.

(Video) Mortgage Interest Rates Are In TROUBLE


What is the prediction for mortgage rates in 2023? ›

Mortgage rate predictions for 2023
Housing Authority30-Year Mortgage Rate Forecast (Q3 2023)
National Association of Home Builders6.61%
Wells Fargo6.70%
Fannie Mae6.80%
Average Prediction6.56%
2 more rows
6 days ago

Are mortgage rates expected to increase or decrease? ›

How High Will Mortgage Rates Go in 2023? Rates climbed slightly higher over the past month, as experts had predicted they would, but analysts expect a modest decline ahead. In its June forecast, Fannie Mae predicted a 6.6% mortgage rate for the third quarter — slightly less than the current rate.

What is the average mortgage rate right now? ›

Weekly national mortgage interest rate trends
30 year fixed7.23%
15 year fixed6.56%
10 year fixed6.69%
5/1 ARM6.20%

Where will 30 year mortgage rates be in 2023? ›

Fannie Mae, according to its recent Housing Forecast, has predicted that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates will decline from 6.5% to approximately 6% by the end of 2023 for an average of 6.3%.

What will mortgage rates be in July 2023? ›

Average mortgage interest rates
30-year fixed7.23%+0.03
15-year fixed6.56%+0.07
30-year jumbo mortgage rate7.26%+0.03
30-year mortgage refinance rate7.39%+0.04
6 days ago

What is the mortgage rate forecast for July 2023? ›

Therefore, we expect mortgage rates to stay above 6% for the second half of 2023. High mortgage rates will increase the cost of owning a home, likely leading to a reduction in other spending. However, savings from cooling inflation could be enough to offset the increased housing costs.

Will housing interest rates go down in 2023? ›

And the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is a bit more optimistic, forecasting that mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will head downward in 2023 and end the year at about 5.2%.

Will mortgage rates keep declining? ›

As long as inflation continues to trend downward, though, mortgage rates should decline slightly towards the end of 2023. The most recent housing forecast from Fannie Mae calls for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to close out the year at around 6.3%.

How high are interest rates expected to go? ›

NAB: Early/mid 2024

NAB expects there will be two more rate hikes of 25 basis points which will see the cash rate rise to a peak of 4.6%. NAB believes that the RBA will start reducing the cash rate in the second quarter of 2024 and anticipates the cash rate will be 3.10% by the end of 2024.

What is the highest average mortgage rate ever? ›

What were the highest mortgage rates in history? The highest mortgage rates in history were in the 1980s. Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates hit their peak at 18.63% in October 1981.

What was the lowest mortgage interest rate in history? ›

The lowest interest rate for a mortgage in history came in 2020 and 2021. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the 30-year fixed rate dropped under 3% for the first time since 1971, when Freddie Mac first began surveying mortgage lenders.

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 will mortgage rates be in 2023 2024? ›

Now, looking forward, looking ahead, Fannie Mae is forecasting that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will hit by the end of the year, will hit about 6%. And by next year, it'll be about 5%.

Will mortgage rates go down in 2023 2024? ›

Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors predict that mortgage rates will fall. Fannie Mae, Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors predict that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will decline at least half a percentage point through the middle of 2024.

Where will mortgage rates be in spring 2023? ›

Mortgage Rate Predictions for Spring 2023. Most forecasters say that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will be at or slightly above 6% during the second quarter of 2023, which includes the spring months of April, May and June.

Are mortgage rates expected to drop in 2023? ›

And the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is a bit more optimistic, forecasting that mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will head downward in 2023 and end the year at about 5.2%.

Will mortgage rates go up in 2023 and 2024? ›

Home prices, mortgage rates forecasted to fall in 2023, 2024: Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae recently revised its housing call for 2023 and 2024. Yahoo Finance Reporter Dani Romero joins the Live show to discuss the latest report, which predicts home prices and mortgage rates to fall.

What are mortgage rates for 2023 and 2024? ›

ING predicts rates to range from 5% in the second quarter of 2023, rising to 5.5% in the third quarter, and then falling back to 5% in the final quarter of the year. They also predict interest rates ranging between 3% and 4.25% in 2024, staying at 3% by the end of 2025.


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