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In a few weeks’ time we shall finally be released from a financial commitment I made more than five years ago. The fixedrate period on our mortgage is about to end and, in theory at least, we will be free to scout Britain’s increasingly bustling market for home loans in search of an alternative deal.

Looking back to early 2009 offers an excellent illustration of how our financial world has changed. Back then, a loan with the rate fixed for five years at 4.15 per cent looked unbeatable, especially to someone who suspected that inflation (and therefore interest rates) would…

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