Open the fridge and check the best-before date on the milk bottle.

The chances are, it’ll last longer than some of the latest mortgage deals available.

According to recent figures from the financial information service, Moneyfacts, the 2024 mortgage market is extremely volatile – with deals being pulled within just days of being launched. For both existing homeowners ready to remortgage and first-time buyers eager to get on the ladder, it’s become a huge source of stress (and frustration) – which is completely understandable.

Mortgage products are there one minute and gone the next, leaving little time for you to consider your options. And in reality, how fast are you willing to make a decision on such a big financial commitment?

The vast and fast-paced world of mortgage deals

Let’s start with the good news – mortgage choice has greatly improved.

Data from a recent UK mortgage trends report revealed that, at the start of March 2024, there were 6004 mortgage products currently available. Which is a 30% increase compared to this time last year and the widest selection since March 2008 (6192).

Lenders have extended their ranges and there has been a notable increase in products for those who can only offer a relatively small deposit. As a result, choosing a mortgage has become less like shopping in a local convenience store and more like perusing the aisles of a very large supermarket.

The trouble is, everything on the shelf is about to go out of date.

With a close eye on the Bank of England’s benchmark interest rate – plus the rates being offered by their main competitors – lenders are updating their own rates at a rapid pace. Altering mortgage products and even pulling deals entirely at very short notice.

Due to this volatility, the average shelf-life of new mortgage deals has plummeted to 15 days – a six-month low, down from 28 days at the start of February 2024. Which means, people have a very limited window to decide – adding further stress to an already stressful situation and potentially pressuring them into making a fast or rash decision.

Securing a mortgage deal (before it’s gone)

Around 1.6 million existing mortgage deals are due to expire this year.

If you’re one of the homeowners affected, the current advice is relatively simple. Start shopping for a new mortgage deal around 6 months before your current deal ends – and if you’re happy with the rate, lock it in as soon as possible.

Your lender may then allow you to swap to a better rate, if one happens to transpire before you make the switch. Just be sure to speak to your lender to check if they allow this sort of flexibility.

If you’re a first-time buyer or moving to a new home, things are a little trickier.

Not all lenders will allow you to secure a mortgage rate at the same stage. Some will honour a rate as long as you have an ‘agreement in principle’, whereas others may require submission of a full mortgage application. If they’re particularly stringent, they may even withhold the right to change the ‘agreed’ interest rate right up until completion day. 

As such, before you press forward with a purchase, it’s best to enquire upfront with your lender regarding their protocols. And to ensure you identify and secure the right deal for you (in such a pressurised fast-paced market), we recommend the following:

1. Get mortgage ready

There’s no denying, fitting a lender’s criteria and being accepted for a mortgage can be difficult. But there are numerous things you can do before you apply to help improve your chances. For example, you could:

  • check your credit score – using a free reference agency such as Experian, Equifax or TransUnion – and attempt to correct any credit score errors as soon as possible.
  • register to vote (as lenders use electoral roll data for identity checks).
  • delink yourself from ex-partners/flatmates who may have a bad credit score.
  • carefully manage your available credit.
  • close old, inactive accounts.
  • be as frugal as possible and pay all bills on time.
  • avoid applying for other credit in the 3 months before your application.
  • sort your paperwork (e.g. proof of income, spending etc.) in advance.

2. Recruit the help of a mortgage broker

Not only can an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage broker offer tailored advice, helping you to identify the best mortgage deal for your requirements, they can also assist throughout the mortgage application process – ensuring it progresses as quickly as possible.

Plus, lenders will often reach out to brokers ahead of pulling a mortgage deal off the market, therefore giving them more time to act on your behalf – whether that be chasing your solicitor to see where things are up to or helping you to quickly select a new, available product.

3. Choose an efficient conveyancing solicitor

At the moment, to secure a mortgage deal (before it disappears), it seems that speed is the name of the game – so make sure you choose a conveyancing solicitor who knows how to play.

From instructing them to act on your behalf to completion, it’s crucial they can guide you through the process as quickly as possible – promptly arranging the property searches, swiftly navigating any issues that arise and keeping you up to date on their progress.

Having a well-organised and efficient solicitor on your side could be the difference between getting a particular mortgage deal and missing out. Therefore it’s worth doing your research.

Securing a new mortgage deal

Contact our fast conveyancing solicitors – ASAP

Here at St Helens Law, ‘efficiency’ might as well be our middle name.

We appreciate that, due to the current volatile market, securing a mortgage (at the right time, at the right rate for you) is no easy feat. Which is why, now more than ever, we do everything in our power to ensure a swift completion – with clear and simple updates throughout.

Our specialist conveyancing solicitors are skilled and experienced in the buying and selling of residential property, with significant knowledge of the conveyancing process (and how to make it as quick and easy as possible). To ensure the property transaction progresses efficiently, we:

  • will provide a fast initial quote, which outlines what you should expect to pay (with no hidden extras). This will allow you to make a fast, fully informed decision and instruct our solicitors to act on your behalf with confidence.
  • use the latest technology, including a ‘live access’ case management system, to communicate effectively with all parties and keep everyone informed.
  • allow all paperwork to be signed remotely, meaning there’s no need for any unnecessary delays or waiting for a suitable day for you to visit the office.
  • utilise our direct contacts with several search agencies (if this is permitted by your lender), who can carry out the searches much quicker and usually at a reduced rate.

If you’re attempting to remortgage, move home or buy your first property in these unprecedented times, time is of the essence – and we’re on hand, ready and raring to help. So why not give yourself the best chance of getting the best mortgage deal, before it reaches its best-before date, and get in touch today?

Further details of the conveyancing process and our current prices can be found in our Residential Conveyancing Guide. But if you have any questions or would like to discuss your circumstances in detail with a member of the team, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01744 742360. Alternatively, you can send an email to

An initial consultation with our conveyancing solicitors is also available free of charge, which you can request by filling out the form at the top of this page.