The research showed that 45% of UK homeowners are now aware of offset mortgages, compared with only 20% in early 2003. Awareness is highest among Londoners – 56% of homeowners in the capital have now heard of offset mortgages.
first direct is one of the UK’s largest providers of offset mortgages. Since July 2001 it has lent more than £3 billion in offset home loans. first direct’s award winning* Offset Mortgage is one of the most flexible on the market, with no hidden charges or penalties, the ability to offset a current account as well as savings balances, and a full ‘borrow back’** facility.
The growing awareness of offset mortgages coincides with a greater understanding of their benefits. Of those who are aware of offset mortgages, two thirds understand the concept of offsetting savings and current account balances against mortgage borrowing to reduce the amount of interest paid. 75% of London homeowners say they understand offset mortgages.
The research also found that understanding is higher amongst men than women (69% versus 62%) and, in terms of age, understanding is highest amongst the 35-44 year-old age group (80%).
Alan Hughes, first direct’s chief executive, said: "first direct’s Offset Mortgage Index has found that more and more people are waking up to the benefits of offset mortgages. A mortgage is probably the single biggest expense people have and it’s certainly good news that more people know they could save thousands of pounds and pay less each month by choosing an offset mortgage. first direct’s Offset Mortgage is more than just a loan, it gives customers the flexibility to pay their mortgage off early and for less."