The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has once again decided the best course of action is to leave well enough alone and frozen interest rates at 4.75% for the ninth month in a row.
The move has been widely expected despite rising oil prices and a slight increase in unemployment figures. These inflationary pressures have been offset by, among others, the housing industry which said earlier this week that mortgage lending was at its highest level in two years in March.
Mehrdad Yousefi, head of intermediary mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, says: "It is no surprise that the MPC has left the rate unchanged yet again - especially as we have seen robust economic and housing data in the past few weeks. The UK Purchasing Managers' and CML mortgage lending figures have both been higher than expected.
"It will be interesting to see how the Bank of England Inflation Report out next week comments on the economic outlook for the next 12 months, as money markets are currently pricing in the next movement in interest rates as upwards.
"Homeowners and prospective purchasers should take advantage of competitive fixed rate and discounted mortgage products in the High Street, as it is likely that short-term fixed rates could be higher in the coming months."
Meanwhile, the Bank said this morning the increase in total net lending to individuals in March, at £9.6bn, was higher than the increase in February and broadly in line with the previous six month average.
It said the twelve-month growth rate weakened to 10.2%, from 10.3% in February while the increase in net lending secured on property at £9.3bn was well above both the increase in February and the previous six month average.
The twelve-month growth rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 10.8% with the number of loans approved for house purchase at 116,000 showed an increase of 2,000 on February.
The number of approvals for remortgaging and for other purposes was lower (by 1,000 and 3,000 respectively the Bank said.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Matthew West on 020 7484 9893 or email [email protected].IFAonline
£116.8m of benefits received by customers
Spent 13 years at JPMAM
Headed by Ben Palmer and Edward Park
Consults on regulation and innovation in green finance
13 studies begun since April 2013