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Repayments will rise

It is thought that around a quarter of a million borrowers will see their two-year fixed rate mortgages coming to an end during the last three months of this year. Monthly payments on these products are likely to rise by about 200 per month as lenders impose their standard variable rate.

Repayment mortgages are the most popular mortgages in Britain. If you want a safe, reliable and properly structured way of clearing your debt then the repayment route is for you.

Mortgage experts say the only time repayments were out of fashion was when they were briefly overshadowed by endowments. And everyone knows what has happened to endowments since then. But why exactly do repayments rule? If you are taking out a mortgage for the first time, or if you are re-mortgaging and thinking about altering your loan type then this information is for you. It is independently researched and written. Its also in plain English. So here they are: the five reasons why repayment mortgages should be at the top of your shopping list and the final reason why buy-to-let investors in particular should steer clear.

Neil Simpson is a former Personal Finance Journalist of the Year and writes regularly on prtgage and insurance issues for the Mail on Sunday, City AM newspaper and many other publications.

Fewer mortgages approved in March

New figures from the Bank of England show that the amount of money lent for mortgages and remortgages increased by 9.9 billion in March, lower than February's increase but in line with the six-month average.

The number of loans approved for house purchase and remortgaging were all also lower than in February.

Commenting on the figures, David Stubbs, senior economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said that the figures indicated that the housing market was cooling in response to interest rate rises since August.

The level of mortgage approvals is 13 per cent lower than their November peak and it is "only a matter of time before price rises also slow", he stated.

However, chief economist at the Global Insight consultancy Howard Archer said that a shortage of properties for sale meant that it was still a sellers' market.

He said: "House prices still seem likely to lose buoyancy only gradually. This is because an ongoing shortage of properties in many areas means that pricing power is still significantly in favour of the vendor."