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Swaps continued to surge last week. All the swap rates I record are now above 6%. Although they fell back slightly on Tuesday, they still finished significantly higher. It will be interesting to see if they fall a bit following the most recent base rate announcement. One-year swaps are factoring in three more base rate rises, which I think is unlikely.

• One-year money is up 0.05% at 6.2%

• Two-year money is up 0.09% at 6.16%

• Three-year money is up 0.1% at 6.13%

• Five-year money is up 0.1% at 6.01%

We have seen a swathe of lenders repricing their fixed rates upwards – some more than once – and given the number of increases, it’s hard to keep track of rates that are pulled, especially with tight deadlines.

Mortgage Express has improved its rental criteria so that landlords with at least 12 months’ experience can get either 110% rental cover at 85% LTV or 125% cover at 90% LTV. This is great news. MEX is a good buy-to-let lender and has been slightly hampered by its rental calculation of late.

Abbey sent out an email on Friday June 1 at 11.18am, stating that its rates would be pulled and that applications needed to be keyed by 4pm on Sunday June 3.

I cannot believe that it gave so little time for brokers to get applications in. Less than one working day is not enough.

Clients blame us brokers when this sort of thing happens and we look silly. And worse, nobody from Abbey’s IT support team was working on Sunday afternoon, so brokers who struggled could not submit applications and clients lost out. But I suppose pulling rates on a Sunday meant Abbey’s servers did not grind to a halt, as has happened before.

Then, on the morning of Wednesday June 6, we were told that the new range – which launched on June 4 – was being withdrawn and applications needed to be in by 10pm. I don’t think I can remember a lender pulling its rates twice in such a short period.

After relaunching its Mortgage Plus deal, I reckon BM Solutions is going to be busy, particularly as it has also dramatically improved the rental calculations on its buy-to-let products. The rental calculation has been reduced to base plus 0.5% for all buy-to-let products across the three rental tiers – 125%, 110% and 100%.

But there are some products that have pay rate calculations. Arguably the best rate in the market is BM Solutions’ two-year tracker at base less 0.5% with a £1,499 fee and refund of valuation up to £490. The calculation is 125% of 5%.

For the two-year tracker at base less 0.26% with a £799 fee, the calculation is 125% of 5.24%. For the two-year tracker at base rate with £1,199 fee and refund of valuation, the calculation is 100% at 5.5% and for the capped tracker rate at base less 0.76% capped at 5.49% with 2.5% fee, the calculation is 100% of 4.74%.

Some products are club ones and some are direct, so check for details. With service as good as BM Solutions’, rates this good and rental calculations this easy, some other lenders are going to be twiddling their thumbs for a while.

An interesting deal was launched by Woolwich, even though I found out about it through Mortgage Strategy Online rather than from Woolwich.

It calls it a fix and track loan. It is fixed for one year at 5.39% but after the first year becomes a lifetime tracker at 0.39% above base.

It also offers a facility whereby clients can switch to another fixed or capped rate with Woolwich after the first year without incurring an early repayment charge.

It was also interesting to see Portman launch a two-year fixed rate at 4.59% with a 2.5% fee. This looks like a terrific rate for small loans because unlike with a lot of the other mainstream lenders, there is no stupidly high minimum case size which means borrowers who would gain most don’t qualify. The 5.29% two-year fixed rate’s arrangement fee has gone up to £1,499.

Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons Mortgages


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