'My mortgage offer went from 4.5% to 10.5%': First-time buyer met with gasps by Question Time audience

A person looks at properties in the window of an estate agent in Holmfirth, Britain - ADAM VAUGHAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
A person looks at properties in the window of an estate agent in Holmfirth, Britain - ADAM VAUGHAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

"My mortgage offer went from 4.5 per cent to 10.5 percent," a first-time buyer has told an incredulous BBC Question Time audience.

The young audience member said her lender had doubled the interest rate on her prospective mortgage since Friday, which has priced her out.

She told the panel: "I was actually in the process of getting a mortgage as a young person and I was told my initial interest rate would be 4.5 per cent and then I was told today that the lender has pulled that offer and now the best offer I can get is about 10.5 per cent."

The other audience members and panel looked gobsmacked at the interest rate hike, with audible gasps and murmurs of "wow" filling the auditorium.

She continued: "They are saying 'you need to immediately look at putting your application through because if you don't the lenders may even pull these offers'."

At this, Lord Karan Bilimoria, who was a member of Thursday's Question Time panel, shook his head with a look of solemn incredulity.

The audience member added: "For me now, as a first-time buyer, I don't think I can now afford to get a mortgage."

It was also revealed that the steep change in her offer was made in less than one week, as she confirmed the decision was made "since Friday," when Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng made their tax-slashing mini-Budget announcement.

Since then, the pound has fallen to record lows and interest rates have soared, triggering concerns the proposals will drive up debt and fuel inflation.

Efforts to calm the markets in the wake of the mini-Budget were underway as the Prime Minister and Chancellor announced they had met with the head of the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) on Friday morning.

Following the meeting, the OBR confirmed it will deliver an initial forecast to Mr Kwarteng on October 7 which "will, as always, be based on our independent judgment about economic and fiscal prospects and the impact of the Government's policies".

'As a first-time buyer, you can't do it'

When pressed by Fiona Bruce, the host of Question Time, to hear more about this "extraordinary jump," the audience member said: "I was given the initial rate about two weeks ago, so we were in the process of getting all the documentation together.

"And today I was told the lenders are pulling those offers, those offers are no longer there."

When the host asked whether the lenders had an explanation as to why they were pulling the intial rate, she said: "They're just saying that the lenders are pulling the offers, that's it, they haven't said anything else and they said 'now the best offer that we have is about 10.4 per cent."

"As a first-time buyer, you can imagine, it's almost like you can't do it," she added.

Crunch meeting with OBR a 'very good idea'

Meanwhile, a minister has defended the Ms Truss' decision to meet with an independent financial watchdog for crunch talks about the mini-Budget after arguing that the £45 billion package of tax cuts is the the "right plan" for the economy.

Asked if the Prime Minister's meeting with the Office for Budget Responsibility demonstrated the scale of the crisis, Treasury minister Andrew Griffith told Sky News: "It seems to me a very good idea that the Prime Minister and Chancellor are sitting down with the independent OBR - just like the independent Bank of England, they have got a really important role to play.

"We all want the forecasts to be as quick as they can, but also as a former finance director I also know you want them to have the right level of detail."

Asked about reports the OBR could have carried out a forecast in time for the mini-budget, Mr Griffith said: "That forecast wouldn't have had the growth measures in that plan. They were being finalised in the hours before the Chancellor stood up."