Lower base rate could lead to more conservatories

The Bank of England (BoE) yesterday made a move that could see a number of homeowners finally make the home improvement they have been waiting for.

By reducing the base rate of interest to just two per cent, the BoE has encouraged banks to be more competitive when lending – with Lloyds TSB, HSBC and Bristol and West all promising to pass the one per cent cut on to their customers.

This could give homeowners the impudence to invest in a conservatory or other form of glazed extension in preparation for the New Year.

While the interest rate cut was designed to stimulate the small business and mortgage markets, deposit demands on buyers mean that a surge in sales is unlikely, according to Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director general Chris Cummings.

"Todays further interest rate cut is a welcome one and a sign that the Bank recognises the seriousness of the situation we face," he said.

"This cut is essential to try to boost the ailing economy. However, on its own, this move will not have the positive effect we need to get the mortgage market lending again."

More likely perhaps is that consumers will take advantage of cheaper loans to allow them to improve their homes in advance of a market recovery – meaning they will be more attractive and therefore able to command a higher fee from buyers when the time comes.