Millions face mortgage misery…

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Millions of homeowners face mortgage misery after interest rates jumped for the fifth month in a row to a 13-year high of 1.25 per cent, which is this is the fastest that rates have risen over a six-month period since 1988.

Borrowers with variable-rate deals will see their bills soar by hundreds of pounds a year almost immediately.

Barclays, First Direct, HSBC and Virgin Money were among the first to reveal their variable – or tracker – rates would rise straight away. Santander is raising its rates from July and Nationwide from August.

The rise by HSBC yesterday was 0.5 per cent – double the increase by some of its rival lenders on the same day, and also twice the size of the Bank of England’s 0.25 per cent interest rate increase.

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Around two million homeowners have a variable-rate mortgage that moves up or down in line with the Bank’s base rate.

Someone with a £150,000 loan on their lender’s average standard variable rate will have to pay an extra £21 a month – or £252 a year, according to mortgage broker L&C.

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