Mortgage bulletin for week commencing Monday 13 January

Posted 13 January 2014 by Keith Osborne

As the housing market continues to grow, lenders are fighting harder to attract borrowers with new ranges of new products, many at reduced interest rates.

Scottish Widows Bank has reduced rates on a selection of its two-year fixed-rate professional and flexible mortgages across it 60% loan-to-value (LTV) ranges. The 60% LTV mortgage for professionals is down to 1.99% with a £999 fee and 2.49% with no fee. The bank's 60% LTV tracker-rate mortgage for professionals is now 1.99% with a £999 fee (Bank of England base rate plus 1.49%), while the 60% LTV fixed-rate flexible mortgages has been reduced to 2.19% with a £999 fee or 2.69% with no fee. The 60% LTV tracker flexible mortgage is now 2.19% with a £995 fee (Bank of England base rate plus 1.69%).

Mike Jones, managing director of Scottish Widows Bank says: "There is a clear requirement for niche products, such as professional and flexible mortgages, from a segment of the homebuying public and we are pleased to able to provide these. We have made a number of changes to our product range that will provide brokers with an even more competitive suite of products for their clients."

Santander is the latest lender to join the government's Help to Buy scheme, offering a range of mortgages up to 95% LTV aimed at first-time homebuyers with a 5% - 10% deposit. The range of mortgages comes with no booking fee, a free standard valuation and £250 cashback on completion. Help to Buy deals available at 95% LTV are a two-year fixed rate at 4.99%, a two-year tracker at 4.99% and a five-year fixed rate at 5.49%. All three options revert to Santander's standard variable rate, currently 4.74%, after the initial term.

The Post Office has announced it is to join the Help to Buy scheme with its financial services partner, Bank of Ireland UK, and put 100 more mortgage specialists into branches. It's five-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 4.45% at 90% LTV with a £995 fee or 4.29% with a fee of £1,495, while the three-year fixed rate at 90% LTV is 3.94% with a fee of £995 or 3.58% fixed for two years with a fee of £1,495.

Specialist lender Paragon Mortgages has launched a range of lifetime tracker buy-to-let mortgages. Lifetime tracker rates start at 4.50% (LIBOR plus 3.90%) at 65% LTV, 4.70% (LIBOR plus 4.10%) at 70% LTV and 4.95% (LIBOR plus 4.35%) at the maximum 75% LTV, with a 1.50% product fee for all products. Paragon is also offering a number of two-year fixed-rate mortgages at 75% LTV with rates starting at 4.45% with a 3% product fee, 5.45% with a 1% product fee or 5.95% with no product fee. The reversion rate after the two-year fixed term is currently LIBOR plus 4.75%.

John Heron, director of mortgages for the lender, says: "The new lifetime tracker products are very competitive and offer something new for landlords who are looking to extend their portfolios."

Skipton Building Society has reduced many of its fees and now offers free legals on loans up to £1m; the previous limit was £500,000. Kris Brewster, Skipton's head of products, says: "These reductions to our valuation fee scale are our latest move to offer even better value to all our borrowers." Current five-year fixed-rate mortgages from Skipton include 4.68% at 90% LTV and 3.39% at 75% LTV, both with fees of £995.

Leeds Building Society has announced a new Welsh Help to Buy Fees Assisted two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 2.45%, available through intermediaries in Wales on new-build properties up to £300,000 in value. The booking fee is £199 and the product includes a free standard valuation up to £335.

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