The average rate for a two-year fixed mortgage has dropped its lowest level since the summer according to the latest figures.

Financial information service Moneyfacts said the average rate had fallen to 5.87 per cent from more than 6 per cent a month ago.

Rates ran to their highest levels in a decade after Prime Minister Liz Truss' ill-fated mini-budget last September which ultimately contributed to her being ousted from office.

Mortgage rates were also driven up earlier this year as the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Commission (MPC) made consecutive hikes to the base rate in an attempt to quell ‘chronically high’ inflation.

With inflation slowing to less than four per cent in the year to October and the MPC holding the base rate at 5.25 per cent, average mortgage rates have gradually been on the decline – an indication the market is improving.

House prices increased by 1.6 per cent in the Cumberland area in October contributing to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 0.3 per cent over the last year.

The average Cumberland house price in October was £170,122, Land Registry figures show – a 1.6 per cent increase on September.

Cumberland's performance is at a contrast to the rest of the UK where house prices ended 2023 down 1.8 per cent compared with December 2022, leaving them almost 4.5 per cent below the all-time high recorded in late summer 2022.

“Housing market activity was weak throughout 2023," said Robert Gardener from Nationwide. 

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“Even though house prices are modestly lower and incomes have been rising strongly, at least in cash terms, this hasn’t been enough to offset the impact of higher mortgage rates, which in recent months were still more than three times the record lows prevailing in 2021 in the wake of the pandemic.

“As a result, housing affordability has remained stretched.”

Earlier last year, a leading Cumbrian estate agent said that the Cumbrian housing market was 'calming' after a post Covid boom.